Guantanamo detainee found dead

A Guantanamo Bay detainee was found dead two days ago, the Pentagon announced on Monday. 

The identity of the deceased is being withheld pending family notifications.

The prisoner was found “unconscious and unresponsive” by guards during a routine check Saturday afternoon, according to the Joint Task Force Guantanamo.

First aid was administered and the detainee was transported to the Naval Hospital Guantanamo, where he was pronounced dead after receiving “extensive lifesaving measures”.

An autopsy will be performed, and the cause and circumstances surrounding the detainee’s death are being investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service as part of the military’s standard procedure.

“The remains of the deceased detainee are being treated with respect for Islamic culture and traditions,” the Pentagon emphasized.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based human rights organization that provides legal representation to some of the detainees held in Guantanamo Bay, released a statement condemning “the fact that yet another detained man – the fourth on President Obama’s watch – has died at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, most likely without charge and certainly without trial.”

“Military investigations into several of the deaths at the base remain under a cloud of suspicion,” according to the CCR statement. “The Center for Constitutional Rights calls on the government to preserve the evidence in this case, conduct a full and impartial investigation, and treat the body and the family with all proper respect, none of which, regrettably, has consistently occurred in the past.”

Saturday’s death brings the total detainee death toll to 9 at Guantanamo Bay since the detention center was opened after the 9/11 attacks. The military said two of the previous deaths were by natural causes and six were ruled as suicides.

Eleven years after 9/11, 167 detainees remain held in Guantanamo.

Read more: Alleged 9/11 mastermind to be tried by military court

Five detainees – Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Walid Muhammed Salih Mubarek Bin ‘Attash, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi – are awaiting trial before the military commission on charges relating to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Eighty-seven detainees have been cleared and are awaiting for transfer out of Guantanamo, including 3 Uighurs and 58 Yemenis. It is unclear whether the deceased detainee was among the 87 cleared for release or transfer.


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