Guantanamo Inmate Dead of Apparent Suicide

Muhammad Ahmad Abdallah Salih, a 31 year old Yemeni held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002, has committed suicide, according to the AP and Pentagon.

Salih was in the psychiatric ward, being force-fed due to being on a hunger strike. He was down to 86 pounds. No charges had been filed against him.

"Salih was being force-fed in a restraint chair; the other six surviving inmates are being force-fed from bed," Remes said, adding that he didn't think the Yemeni had any legal representation until two lawyers arrived in February. "They were due to see him for the first time in a couple of weeks," he said.

The military says he was found unresponsive in his cell. Suicide or did his body give out? Stay tuned. [Update below]

Update: The ACLU calls for an investigation:
Tragic deaths like this one have become all too common in a system that locks up detainees indefinitely without charge or trial. There must be an immediate, independent and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding this apparent suicide and the conditions of confinement at Guantánamo.

“There is no room for a system of indefinite detention without charge or trial under our Constitution. Detainees against whom there is legitimate evidence should be tried in our federal courts – not in the reconstituted military commissions now being proposed. Those against whom there is no legitimate evidence must not be given a de-facto life sentence by being locked up forever.”

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  • Display: Sort:
    How do you commit suicide (none / 0) (#1)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 07:23:37 PM EST
    in a restraint chair?

    And attempted suicides are "self-injurious behavior"?!


    He died of torture (none / 0) (#2)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 07:49:55 PM EST
    You put someone away in Guantanamo for 7 years with no hope of ever being free again, ever seeing family again, etc, and they commit suicide because the life is completely unbearable.

    Death by indefinite detention.  Death by torture.  


    Oh, I don't think he committed suicide (none / 0) (#3)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 08:09:44 PM EST
    I'm trying to figure out who is supposed to believe a man who was 40lbs under weight after a 6wk hunger strike could managed to commit suicide while in a restraint chair being force fed? I mean, really?!

    I just googled for an image to enhance what they expect us to believe, and came across this


    It says he was found unresponsive in (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Anne on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 08:19:42 PM EST
    his cell; I think the part about him being force fed in a restraint chair was not meant to describe how he committed suicide, but to describe what his situation was: despondent enough to be trying to starve himself to death, and having that plan thwarted by being forcibly restrained and fed.

    At least that's how I interpreted it after a second reading.


    Yeah, see below (none / 0) (#6)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 08:22:34 PM EST
    I think you're right. I read it a couple times more. But still, if he actually was in the psych ward . . .

    There's absolutely no excuse for this abuse.


    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 08:24:27 PM EST
    For me, the hunger strike was about ending the torture.

    He may have been perfectly evil.  Evil deserves a trial.  Period.

    And I suspect you don't disagree.  I just didn't want to make 2 posts to make my 2 points.


    If he was perfectly evil (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 08:58:40 PM EST
    he should have been given due process in a reasonable time frame. Ya know, lil' things like charges, a trial . . .

    Honestly, force feeding while in a restraint chair sounds like torture to me . . .

    Maybe I'm just used to American "evil", but I don't see a truly evil person committing suicide or going on a hunger strike. I can't think of any of our high profile prisoners doing that. But it could just be my bad memory. To me it shows a more sensitive person.


    Nevermind, I think I read that wrong (none / 0) (#5)
    by nycstray on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 08:19:54 PM EST
    I was reading it as they were continually restrained/being fed. I was thinking slow drip nutrition . . .

    Wow....seven years locked up (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:31:34 PM EST
    and no charges filed against me.  Scary as hell

    This is so depressing! (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jacob Freeze on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 11:00:06 AM EST
    There are so many ways to make life better for those prisoners, who have never been convicted of any crimes!

    No case has ever been made against Salih which even met the standards of a grand jury, much less a trial court.

    And what changed for him after Obama was inaugurated?

    It only got worse!

    The horror goes on and on and on and on and on (none / 0) (#11)
    by mcl on Wed Jun 03, 2009 at 06:02:26 PM EST
    I voted for Obama. I believed in him. Now we get "preventive detention," which will make many thousands of these kinds of hideous cases a daily event.

    As the kidnapping and imprisonment without charges spreads to more and more types of "suspects," from people suspected in the "war on drugs" to superpredators suspected in the "war on violent crime," more and more secret prisons will fill up with more and more tortured victims screaming like wild animals and begging for death.

    I did everything I could to defeat the previous monsters at the polls. I manned the phone banks for Democrats, I distributed leaflets, I knocked on peoples' doors. And now that we've defeated the monsters who instigated and approved and defended this unconstitutional kidnapping and torture, we have even more monsters in our midst. Monsters like BigTentDemocrat who continue to defend and promote kindapping and torture and imprisonment without charges.

    After BigTentDemocrat banned me from his threads because I kept asking him questions he couldn't answer (like "What's the difference between the `war on terror' and the `war on drugs' since neither of them are actually wars, and why won't the authorities use the same kidnapping and torture tactics against suspected drug users that they use against suspected `terrorists' who in many cases are just peaceful protesters like the Minnesota 8?"), and after a resounding 65% of Americans in the recent poll came out in favor of keeping the Guantanamo Bay torture chambers open...it's clear to me that America has lost its soul.

    I worked hard to get Obama elected. I hoped things would change.

    But now I understand that things are not going to change, except for that worse, because I'm living in Spain in 1935. The fascists are too strong. There are too many of them. Their fierce adoration of torture and murder has infected everyone else. The entire American population has fallen in love with torture and paramilitary star chamber courts and illegal kidnapping and detention without charges and without a trial. They sit glued to hideous spectacles like the TV show 24 and lap it up, clamoring only for more blood, more agony, more sadism, more brutality, more abolition of the rule of law, more barbarism.

    Now, finally, for the first time, I realize there is no hope. America is finished. It's time to get out.

    Before I wind up in one of those torture chambers for the high crime of speaking out for common human decency.

    cross-cultural sensitivity? (none / 0) (#12)
    by diogenes on Thu Jun 04, 2009 at 10:31:23 PM EST
    People in other countries and from other cultures do commit suicide to make political statements.  Heck, Al Qaida uses suicide bombers, whereas American criminal gangs don't.  Occam's razor says that this guy went on hunger strike to either force his release or be a slow-acting suicide bomber with coming paradise and 72 virgins.  At least in this world he didn't get released, so he lost that gamble.  Maybe he'll be luckier in the next world.