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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