Suicidal Gitmo Detainee Needs Help

Mohammed Khan Tumani of Syria was 17 when captured and brought to Guantanamo 7 years ago. No charges have been filed against him. His lawyers today filed a motion for emergency relief in the case of Khan Tumani v. Obama.

The Center for Constitutional Rights filed the motion on his behalf. They are seeking an independent psychiatric and medical evaluation of Khan Tumani, access to his medical records, an end to his placement in solitary confinement and abusive interrogations, and access to his father who is also held at the camp.

Tumani recently tried to commit suicide. Read the details below:

Khan Tumani’s lawyers say they have heard reports from other detainees that he has been banging his head against the walls of his cells for hours at a time and smearing his cell with excrement. In late December, he cut a vein in his left hand

He explained why in a letter to his lawyers:

“A few days ago, on Friday, December 20, 2008, I cut a vein in my left hand until blood poured all over my chest and filled the room. On the wall, I wrote, ‘Country of injustice is America,’ to protest a number of things:

1. Being in this place, having been arrested when I was 17 years old

2. The continuous psychological pressure and the torture that I currently endure

3. The torture endured by prisoners in general, but especially the Syrians.

4. Being apart from my father

5. Current general torture – three days ago, the soldiers handled the Quran.

Of course, there are many other reasons. After I slashed my hand, all my clothes were taken away from me …. I was placed in irons and deprived of food and drink. I slashed my hand (cut the vein) because of psychological pressure and because the interrogator asked me to.”

As to how he got to Gitmo and the abuse he's suffered, CCR reports:

He left his home in Syria in June of 2001 with nine other family members, including his 67-year-old grandmother, following a decision by his father to leave Syria in search of greater economic opportunity for his family. The family eventually migrated to Afghanistan, but the country was consumed by war soon after they arrived and they were forced to flee. He was 17 years old at the time.

Detained by Pakistanis and then by the United States, the young Mohammed suffered brutal physical and psychological abuse. He was beaten; his nose was broken; his left hand was fractured; he was deprived of sleep; he was subjected to temperature extremes; he was threatened with rendition to Egypt and Jordan and told his family members would be killed or were already dead. He continues to be subjected to prolonged and debilitating isolation.

This is something President Obama can and should do something about now. 7 years without charges for a 17 year old is inexcusable. Ordering Gitmo closed in a year is a nice gesture but not enough. Not when detainees like Mohammed are losing their sanity as well as their freedom.

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  • Display: Sort:
    President Obama will check with (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by ruffian on Fri Feb 06, 2009 at 11:54:21 PM EST
    Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman and get back to you later.

    It breaks my heart that there will be no help for this poor man anytime soon.

    I just finished reading the transcript (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:06:13 AM EST
    of one of his enemy combatant hearings. His portion starts at page 71 of this 107 page document and his testimony at p. 74. What a travesty. And check out page 107, the statement of his "personal representative, an LTC with the US. Army. According to him, the evidence of Khan training at a camp came from an untrustworthy snitch who was another detainee. He claimed to have seen Khan at a training camp in April, 2001 and it was well documented Khan hadn't even left Syria until July.

    But, but, but Dick Cheney says... (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:05:12 AM EST
    I spent time on an exchange program in Normandy - France for those of you paying attention when I was a teenager.  All these people gave me gifts because I was American - because they told me that our country liberated their country at its most dire moment and that we were the shining example of democracy.  Reagan was first elected the fall just prior and had not yet started to dammage our reputation as the peace-loving and benign ally.  It was nice while it lasted I guess.  I spent the years after during Regan's tenure apologizing for not living up to our once stellar reputation when I returned to France and other countries in Europe.

    Now here we all are.  This young man and millions of others lives destroyed or ended by tyrants who are us.  I am horrified by the thought.  The reality is down right gut wrenching.  I never thought we were "good" in that pure sense and I was aware that we had a dark side, but I guess I never thought that we as country would so casually adopt an openly cruel and disgusting approach to the world and each other as we have in the past eight years.  

    So many people accept the rationale that it is better to keep people like this kid in confinement in perpituity regardless of whether or not he is really "guilty" of something...

    The banality of evil - I never fully understood that phrase until recently.  I would have been much happier in my lifetime had I never fully grasped it.  I just hope that kid is more resiliant than I would be in his position.  I can't imagine surviving what he has been through.


    Oy (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:22:40 AM EST
    Heart rendering. I am getting more and more convinced that Bush and Cheney will be convicted of war crimes.

    "Rendering" or "rending"? (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:00:22 AM EST
    Melts My Heart (none / 0) (#20)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:45:58 PM EST
    Although rending is also apt. tears my heart, and also the correct cliche.

    Sadly, that (none / 0) (#17)
    by weltec2 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 07:00:28 AM EST
    will never happen. As I have said many times here... Obama was put in his position by Nancy and company to make sure it would never happen.

    not a chance. (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by cpinva on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 12:45:39 AM EST
    I am getting more and more convinced that Bush and Cheney will be convicted of war crimes.

    the republicans will throw a hissy fit, if it's mentioned in passing, and the democratic president, and democratic majorities in the house & senate certainly wouldn't want to do anything to upset them.

    it's becoming clearer, as the days go by, that the vacuuousness of pres. obama's primary and general campaigns was (as i and many others suspected) the real deal; what you saw is what you have now.

    unless obama and the congresscritter dems start to show a little spine (not much, just enough to get them standing on two legs), the only "change" we'll see in the next 4 years is the name on the oval office door.

    as well, don't be at all surprised if SoS clinton, tiring of representing an administration totally lacking in backbone, resigns prior to the official end of her term. why continue?

    Pshaw Republicans (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:11:31 AM EST
    It will be the world.

    Crazy (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Fri Feb 06, 2009 at 11:54:50 PM EST
    This is the US, where purple mountains majesty, and freedom for all, model of constitutional right (except for a little problem with AAs et al) DOES NOT TORTURE, PRINCIPAL OF DUE PROCESS, LEARNED LESSONS FROM SLAVERY.... AKA TOP OF CIVILIZATION.

    This is a war crime done by BushCo. Obama has to act quickly on this, imo.

    But, but, but. Panetta (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:26:49 AM EST
    just recanted his recent remarks and now says he needs to study up on whether torture is effective.

    Link? (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:51:08 AM EST
    Here's what I read. Turns out (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:05:35 AM EST
    Panetta sd. Obama admin. will still "render" people to the custody of other countries, but, of course, U.S. would never permit such renderees to be tortured whereever they end up.

    AP via Newsday


    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:27:35 AM EST
    The story was beaten to death here.

    The discussion I saw here was (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:54:01 AM EST
    whether the LAT article was correct, in light of Obama's executive order.

    OK (none / 0) (#14)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 02:58:00 AM EST
    Nothing new.

    Panetta (link to Newsday below) (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 03:04:21 AM EST
    unequivocally stated the Obama Justice Dept. will not prosecute CIA personnel who tortured pursuant to orders.  He also sd. it is for others to decide whether those who made the orders will be prosecuted.

    Reminiscent of (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 01:52:59 AM EST
    A Princess Remembers,  The Princess in question was the daughter of the ruler of Cooch Behar, in eastern India.  She became the third wife of the ruler of Jaipur in western India.  After Independence she was elected to the lower house of India's Parliament, representing Rahjastan.

    In the 1970s, Indira Ghandi sought to revoke the Constitutional provision for privy purses to the former rulers of the principalities who agreed to turn over their principalities to the unified India.  Couldn't get enough votes.  Solution:  jail the recalitrant members of Parliament without trial and suspend habeaus corpus.  It worked.  

    If you pay taxes.... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 09:35:47 AM EST
    you did this.  I did this.  We all did this.

    which would be (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Jen M on Sat Feb 07, 2009 at 10:07:17 AM EST
    why I have objected so vehemently all this time.

    Does this mean I called myself unpatriotic when the previous administration did?