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Saudi Arabia Identified Two of Three Guantanamo Suicides

  • VOA News

Saudi Arabia has identified two of three detainees who committed suicide at the
U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, and says it is stepping up efforts to repatriate all of its 100 nationals held there.

The Saudi Government Sunday identified the two as Manie al-Otaibi and Yasser al-Zahrani. The third is a Yemeni who has yet to be identified.

The detainees used clothing and bed sheets to hang themselves late Saturday.

A lawyer for some Saudi detainees at Guantanamo said he holds the U.S. responsible for their deaths. Katib al-Shimary told Al Arabiya satellite television Sunday the deaths reveal mistreatment at Guantanamo and the extent to which human rights are violated there.

But U.S. Navy Admiral Harry Harris, the commander of the Guantanamo base in Cuba, said the suicides were planned and coordinated by the detainees in, what he said was, "an act of asymmetrical warfare."


Guantanamo officials have reported 41 unsuccessful suicides since the United States began taking prisoners to the base in January 2002.

The suicides have renewed calls for the U.S. to close the facility. Swedish Foreign Minister Jan Eliasson said Sunday the 25-member European Union believes Guantanamo should be closed down. He said the detainees should be brought to trail or released.

The U.S. military says the more than 400 detainees are at Guantanamo because they had waged war against the U.S. and continue to pose a threat. So far, only 10 prisoners have been formally charged as terror suspects.
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