NPR logo Saudi Detainee Found Dead in Guantanamo Cell


Saudi Detainee Found Dead in Guantanamo Cell

U.S. military officials say that a Saudi prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has died in an apparent suicide. Three other detainees at Guantanamo have taken their own lives in less than a year. Guards found the Saudi detainee in his cell Wednesday, not breathing and unresponsive.

Military personnel tried to resuscitate the man, but the efforts were too late and a physician on base pronounced the prisoner dead.

The military would not provide details about the man's age or how he died, except to say that it was an apparent suicide.

An investigation is now under way.

Just under a year ago, three other Guantanamo prisoners killed themselves. That and a riot shortly afterwards in one of the camps resulted in a more rigid security situation for many of the nearly 400 detainees still held at Guantanamo.

Many privileges were taken away and what were once medium-security areas were tightened into maximum security zones.

Human rights workers and many defense lawyers say those conditions — as well as the detentions — have prompted the prisoners to take desperate measures.

Only a handful of detainees have been charged in the past five years.

On Monday, a military tribunal is due to convene to try two of the prisoners for war crimes.

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