Monday, June 12, 2006

Charge Them With a Crime or Let Them Go

WASHINGTON, June 10 — Three detainees being held at the United States military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, committed suicide early on Saturday, the first deaths of detainees to be reported at the military prison since it opened in early 2002, United States military officials said.

Lawyers for the detainees, human rights groups and legal associations have increasingly questioned whether many of the prisoners can even rightfully be called terrorists. They note that only 10 of the roughly 465 men held at Guantánamo have been charged before military tribunals, and that recently released documents indicate that many have never been accused even in administrative proceedings of belonging to Al Qaeda or attacking the United States.

Advocates for the detainees said they believed the suicides resulted from the deep despair felt by inmates who are being held indefinitely

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