Tuesday, May 30, 2017

10 Yr. Anniversary of Gitmo Detainee's Death, New Documents Show Suicide Improbable

Ten years ago today, Abdul Rahman Al Amri was found dead in Cell 211, B Block, upper tier, at Guantanamo's Camp Delta's Camp 5. The Saudi detainee was found hanging from an improvised rope attached to the air vent just under the ceiling, about nine feet up. Al Amri was 5'5" tall.

Al Amri was found with his hands tied "snugly" behind his back. He had no history of suicide attempts, and was considered a "detainee of interest." He weighed only 125 pounds.

The autopsy tested for the presence of antimalarial drugs, even though there was no malaria at Guantanamo. Al Amri had been a prisoner there for five years. He had never seen an attorney, but new documents I've received show he had papers that supposedly contained attorney-client communications. Those papers have not been released.

But NCIS has released a new trove of documents to me via a years-long FOIA request. I will be soon posting those publicly, as well as updating my analysis of those documents in my book, Cover-up at Guantanamo.

The new documents confirm what I already suspected, that Al Amri did not die a suicide. In fact, the prisoner, subject to checks every three minutes, and with his room bugged, if not under video surveillance, would have taken a long time to create and set-up his suicide apparatus, according to the NCIS investigator who examined the death scene.

As this investigator wrote, noting the complex fashion in which the rope was attached to the air vent:
The attachment of the cloth to this grate would have been time consuming as the cloth appeared to have been weaved through ten holes to assure that it would support a weighted object. It was difficult to ascertain how the cloth attachment was facilitated through gross scene examination. A request was made of this facility to have the grate removed for further inspection and study. The height of the grate on the wall was at a location in which the weaving necessary to attach the cloth to the grate would have been challenging for a shorter detainee. (Note: the detainee had been measured at a height of 66" at the time of the autopsy examination [5' 5" tall].) Standing on the nearby toilet or sink would allow this access but it would put the person at an angle in which further support would have been required through balancing with a hand or upper body.... There was no indication of recent use of the sink or toilet to climb as dust was found on the top surface of both the sink and toilet....
There will be much more to say about this and other new facts about Al Amri's death in the coming weeks. But it is not too late to remember his death, and the fact that his death and others at Guantanamo have never been independently investigated. I believe that when I explain all that is to be revealed about Al Amri's death, calls for a new investigation should be made.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jeff, I'd really like to talk to you concerning one of your old blog posts. Please send me an e-mail at ben.ortlip@gmail.com at your earliest convenience. It is regarding an ACLU claim you were looking into several years ago. Hope to hear from you soon. (Also, excellent post!)

Search for Info/News on Torture

Google Custom Search
Add to Google ">View blog reactions

This site can contain copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my effort to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.