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Lawyer Reports Guantanamo Prisoner Suicidal

Posted May 12 2009 3:48pm
A lawyer for a Yemeni being held at Guantanamo Bay reported that his client hurled blood at him after slashing his wrist during one of their meetings at the prison.; David Rames, of the Washington-based human-rights law firm Appeal for Justice, stated that his client, Adnan Latif, is one of sixteen Yemenis currently being held.Although Rames maintains that his client's actions were an obvious suicide attempt, prison officials are mininimizing Latif's injuries and dismiss his self-harm attempt as being a minor injury.

Latif, aged 33, has been held at Guantanamo without charge since 2002. He was arrested by Pakistani forces after leaving Afghanistan but denies being a member of al-Qaida. His lawyer insists that he Latif is a victim of mistaken identity and has deteriorated mentally and physically after being kept in isolation in the prison's psychiatric ward. He is reportedly experiencing visual and auditory hallucinations and has attempted suicide on several occasions although prison officials refuse to verify any details concerning his incarceration. While his lawyer is seeking to have Latif returned to Yemen for treatment, there is little progress to date.

There are presently 240 prisoners at Guantanamo although they are currently being relocated following President Barack Obama's January pledge to close the prison. While only four suicides have occurred at the base, unofficial sources report numerous suicide attempts that are often dismissed as "self-harm" attempts to seek attention. Thirty-five prisoners are engaged in a hunger strike as part of protest that has been continuing since 2005.

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