The Guantánamo "Suicides" Revisited: Did CIA Hide Deaths of Tortured Prisoners at Secret Site?

Democracy Now
May. 22, 2014

In one of the great mysteries of the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, three prisoners, two from Saudi Arabia and one from Yemen, died the night of June 9, 2006. Authorities at Guantánamo said the three men — Yasser Talal al-Zahrani, Salah Ahmed al-Salami and Mani Shaman al-Utaybi — had killed themselves. The commander at Guantánamo, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, described their deaths as an "act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us." But explosive new evidence shows there may have been a cover-up on how the men actually died. Recently discovered pages from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service suggest that the men died not from suicide, but torture. The new evidence includes an eyewitness account of al-Zahrani on the night of his death which indicates he may have died from torture and suffocation during questioning at a secret black site facility at Guantánamo known as Camp No, or Penny Lane. Harper’s Magazine contributing editor Scott Horton first raised questions about what happened on that night in a 2010 investigation that won a National Magazine Award for Reporting. He has just uncovered the new details on the deaths for a new article in Harper’s, "The Guantánamo 'Suicides' Revisited." A human rights attorney and lecturer at Columbia Law School, Horton is author of the forthcoming book, "The Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America’s Stealth Foreign Policy."

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