Families affirm that prisoners killed at Guantánamo were tortured
June 19, 2006
Today various family members of three political prisoners killed in the Guantánamo detention camp affirmed that the cadavers show signs of having been beaten.
Additionally, they added, during the autopsies, the Americans removed bodily organs, making it very difficult to determine the cause of death.
Mohammed al Oteibi, uncle of one of the three men, told the German agency DPA in Riyadh that he discovered “dark spots on the arms” of his nephew’s (Manea al Oteibi’s) cadaver and hematomas on different parts of his body, which could indicate that he was tortured.
Tala al Sahrani, father of prisoner Yassir al Sahrani, likewise told the Saudi newspaper Al Watan that he saw his son’s cadaver before the autopsy in Riad and discovered hematomas on his head. The blows he received could have caused his death.
The U.S. Army declared that the two Saudi prisoners and another from Yemen committed suicide by hanging themselves at Guantánamo on June 10. Their families doubt this story and maintain that the men were killed. Their remains were transported this weekend to their countries of origin where they will be re-examined.
Al Oteibi affirmed that during the autopsy performed on his nephew, U.S. forensics specialists removed his heart, brain and other organs “so that no one would be able to ascertain the true cause of his death.”
The man, who also served as legal advisor to the deceased prisoner, demanded that Saudi authorities perform an independent autopsy to verify the cause of death.
Although he admitted having seen marks around Manea’s neck—which might corroborate the hanging theory—he dismissed that his nephew could be capable of taking his own life. “We reject the U.S. report,” he said.
At the same time, Al Sahrani pointed out that, on principle, he cannot accept the U.S. autopsy result, considering that one who is accused is not allowed to carry out an independent investigation. His son was taken to Guatánamo when he was 17 years old.
Not only do the family members of the two deceased Saudis doubt the U.S. Army’s version of events.
The Yemenite’s father has also expressed doubt. Naguib Ghanem, former Minister of Health for Yemen and member of the Islamic party Islah, told the newspaper Al Sarq al Awsat that his son’s cadaver, already returned to his native country, is not fully intact following the autopsy carried out in the United States. Consequently, it will be difficult to corroborate the cause of death by doing another autopsy.
460 presumed terrorists remain in the detention camp, the majority of which have no formal accusations against them. Suicide goes against the principles of Islam, which, according to the family members, gives sufficient reason to doubt that the three men would have taken their own lives.
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