Guantánamo Files: The Camp No Records

by Naomi Colvin

As posted on twitter earlier today, the release today of inmate records from Guantánamo Bay presents us with the opportunity to investigate something rather important.

On the night of 9-10 June 2006, three Guantánamo inmates died in suspicious circumstances. The official report, from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (a heavily redacted version of which is available here) maintains that all three deaths were due to suicide. A report prepared by Seton Hall University pointed out many difficulties in the NCIS report and military whistleblower Joe Hickman later suggested that the three deaths may have been the result of enhanced interrogation techniques carried out at “Camp No”, a secret facility located just off the main Camp America base. Scott Horton later wrote about this at length for Harpers.

Shaker Aamer is the last individual with British connections (he is a resident) to be held at Guantanamo. As the Guardian reports today (Monday) the British Government has lobbied hard for Aamer’s release and neither they or officials in Saudi Arabia, where Aamer holds citizenship, hold that he has any criminal case to answer. According to testimony given to Aamer’s lawyer and cited by Horton in Harpers, Aamer was also subjected to interrogation techniques of questionable international legality on 9-10th June 2006.

The Guantánamo records for Shaker Aamer and Yasser Talal al-Zahrani, one of the men who died on 9-10 June 2006, have now been released by The Guardian and Wikileaks respectively. Both men are reported as presenting disciplinary concerns (a “high detention risk”). A later reported suicide, Muhammad Ahmad Abdallah Salih Al Hanashi, is also reported to have been a “high detention risk.”

At the very least this appears to warrant further investigation.

The files of the two other inmates who died on the night of 9-10 June 2006 have yet to be released. They are Mani Shaman Turki al-Habardi Al-Utaybi (of Saudi nationality, ISN 588) and Ali Abdullah Ahmed (a Yemeni citizen also known as Salah Ahmed al-Salami, ISN 693). There is one further death reported as suicide, that of Abdul Rahman Ma’ath Thafir al Amri (Saudi Arabia, ISN 199) and bearing in mind that Muhammad Al-Hanashi’s records denotes a “high detention risk” it would be useful to see Abdul al-Amri’s record too, once it is released.

At present, Wikileaks have released a selection of inmate records (which you can search by name, Internment Serial Number (ISN) and nationality) and the Guardian are providing limited possibilities for searching through all 779 records. At the time of writing, you can filter the Guardian records by nationality, relevance to a particular news story and whether they are one of the 172 currently being held at Camp Delta.

In addition to looking at the individual files above, it would be helpful at this point to ascertain what proportion of those at Guantánamo were reported as presenting disciplinary issues (a “high detention risk”) – James Ball at The Guardian has indicated that he might be able to sort this out (see below), so hopefully more on this soon.

Update

The second part of this post may be found here.

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