Officials still silent on suicide of Guantanamo detainee

Miami HeraldJune 3, 2009 

With a doctor from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office observing, military pathologists Wednesday conducted an autopsy on a Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo who apparently committed suicide in his cell, the military said.

Detention center officials declined to describe the circumstances of the death of Muhammed Ahmed Abdullah Salih, 31, the first captive to die during the Obama administration at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.

Guards and military medical staff discovered his body in a cell sometime Monday and could not revive him, according to a short military account. Salih's was the fifth suspected suicide in the prison camps' seven-year history.

The New York Center for Constitutional Rights, meantime, said that Salih, who also at times used the surname al Hanashi, was one of only about eight of 240 detainees currently in the camps who had never consulted an attorney.

His Guantanamo military intelligence case file alleged that Salih left his homeland in April 2001 to defend the Taliban in Afghanistan against the Northern Alliance. He was captured at age 23 during the U.S. invasion in reprisal for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


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