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Guantanamo guards liable for Yemeni detainee’s death: Probe


An investigation by the US military has found the guards at the infamous Guantanamo prison responsible for the death of a Yemeni inmate who apparently died of overdose on anti-psychotic medication last September.

The 80-page report, released Friday under a Freedom of Information Act request request by Jason Leopold, who has written for Truth-out.org and Al Jazeera, showed that military guards and medical staff did not follow the “standard operating procedures,” in handing out pills to 31-year-old Adnan Latif.

The guards also failed to check on Latif, a duty that must be done for detainees in solitary cells at Camp 5, Guantanamo’s maximum-security lockup.

The fatal overdose would have been impossible had the guards and medical staff followed the correct procedures, the probe finds.

Speaking to Al Jazeera over the phone, Latif’s lawyer David Remes questioned the credibility of the investigation during which, according to him, only military personnel were interviewed.

“Detainees have not been interviewed. They reached this conclusion to avoid culpability,” Remes said.

The report does not clarify the claim that he had managed to hoard lots of pills over several weeks, an issue rejected by his lawyer.

“[There were] too many failures along the way for the hoarding theory to even be credible.”

Latif was transferred to another cell the day before he died, raising questions about how he could have moved contraband medication.

Latif, father of a 10-year-old son in Yemen, was diagnosed with “Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder with antisocial traits,” in Guantanamo.

The reason for Latif’s detention was censored from the report.

Latif traveled from Yemen to Pakistan in August 2001, and later made his way into Afghanistan. He had said that he left Yemen to seek medical treatment for head trauma he suffered in a car crash in 1994.

In a letter to his lawyer in advance of his mysterious death, Latif had written about his captors’ intentions, according to Truth-out.org. In the May 28 letter, he said he was being “pushed to death every moment.”

The letter was written in Arabic and translated into English by someone who worked for Latif’s lawyer.

To Attorneys David Remes and Marc Falkof

Here I am drowning in my blood and you are still looking for justice and seeking hearings.

Meanwhile they are leading me to death. Everything has a price except human life. It became cheap. In their view, life became less than refuse to be thrown in a garbage can. I am being pushed towards death every moment.

The way they deal with me proves to me that they want to get rid of me but in a way that they cannot be accused of causing it. I don’t think anyone believes me but this is the truth to be found by people who investigate what is happening to me especially these days.

I have been isolated in Alpha block, camp five, in a cell that resembles a lion’s cage. It has been made especially for me in this way. I am also without the Quran because of several mishandling of it.

I was also deprived of praying several times. (My prayers are more important than my life.) They entered my cell during prayer for no reason. I was hurt badly by the IRF teams.

Imagine that one night, from sunset until six in the morning, they entered my cell fifteen times. During those times, they tied me to a stretcher and carried me to the clinic in camp five then returned me back to my cell. They repeated that fifteen times until I lost my mind; they broke my bones and made me bleed.

This also happened on the second day when they entered my cell ten times hitting my head against the wall and dragging me on the floor and leaving me there in the middle of the cell which was full of water, urine and feces. I was left in this dirty mixture all day with my hands tied firmly behind my back.

Furthermore, and to make you believe that they want me to die and to kill me; they prevented me from having anything that can help me live normally. They don’t give me books, a blanket, soap, medical supplies that I need for my hearing, eye glasses, tooth paste, medical shoes or a neck pillow.

Instead they give me contraband items like a spoon to hurt myself with it right after all the pressure they exerted on me as I mentioned in the beginning of this letter. They even gave me a big pair of scissors. It was given to me by the person responsible for camp five. This made me ask for the police.

A Chief in the Navy who is specialized in investigating such incidents was called. It is your duty towards me to follow up on the results of this investigation. A day or two later, they threw some coins after an occurrence of pressure on me. This made me swallow the coins along with other things.

This caused complete blockage of my throat and death was a step away. I was taken outside the camp to a hospital where they operated on me for two hours. But instead of extracting the items, or making a small opening in my throat to get them out, they pushed them down to my stomach. I was unconscious for five hours after the operation. When I woke up, I was unable to speak because of what they did in my throat.

The items stayed in my stomach hurting me; these things might lead to my death. I asked them to contact you by phone by they didn’t approve it. Here I am in the big hospital of the camp where death is certain.

They insist, while I am in this condition, on looking at my private parts and then letting me urinate and defecate in my bed while my hands and legs are bound. I am not allowed to go to the bathroom and not allowed to pray. So, no need for courts or justice. Real justice for me is to die instead of being tortured.

All what happened and what I have mentioned is in their daily reports and their computers. After the surgery, they stopped feeding me or letting me eat by orders from the surgeon. It seems that I might have to send you my body parts and flesh to make you believe me and to believe to what degree of misery I have reached.

I am happy to die just to get away from a non-extinguishable fire and no-end torture. Marc and David: In the end, I am a human being.

Adnan Farhan Abdulatif Al-Yemeni

Friday 5/28/2010

Blessed is he who can rescue a human being from his ordeal. If you could, use this letter and the previous one and give the judge copies and then bring me a copy when you come to visit me.

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