Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Murder at Guantánamo? The Mysterious, Unsolved Death of Mohammad Saleh al Hanashi

Too many unanswered questions linger over the mysterious death of Guantánamo inmate Mohammad Saleh al Hanashi. Though originally ruled a suicide, disturbing evidence suggests something far uglier.

Truthout‘s Jeffrey S. Kaye tells the story.

From AlterNet:

With recent news reports centering on Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement that some Guantanamo detainees would be prosecuted in federal court and revamped, albeit flawed military commissions, important stories from previous months related to the prison facility continue to sink ever deeper into the swamp of our collective amnesia.

One example is the death that occurred at Guantanamo last June of Yemeni prisoner Mohammad Ahmed Abdullah Saleh al Hanashi. Al Hanashi’s death was reported as an “apparent suicide,” and about four weeks later, Mike Melia of The Associated Press reported that Yemeni officials claimed Al Hanashi died of “asphyxiation.” The article vaguely notes that self-strangulation may have been the cause of death.

While self-strangulation is rare, it is possible. However, news reports point out that the prisoner was kept under 24/7 observation (possibly on video) in the Guantanamo prison psychiatric ward. Furthermore, psychiatric patients on this ward are said to be sedated. How could this “suicide” happen? The death is being investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), which doesn’t inspire trust, as recent revelations have shown it to be capable of some extremely bad behavior on some of its investigations.

But the suicide story has about worn out, as a November 15 Huffington Post article by journalist Naomi Wolf — who has followed the al Hanashi story — reports that Guantanamo spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Brook DeWalt has confirmed that “the status of the investigation into Mr al-Hanashi’s death … is now a Naval criminal investigation — meaning that he is no longer considered a suicide but a victim of a murder or a negligent homicide.”

On January 17, 2009, al Hanashi was summoned to meet with top Guantanamo commander, Rear Adm. David Thomas, and Army Col. Bruce Vargo, commander of the joint detention group. Afterwards, and with no explanation, al Hanashi never returned to the general prison population and ended up in the prison’s psychiatric ward, where he was found dead some months later. No other details are known, though an AP story notes the following (emphasis added):

Attorney Elizabeth Gilson, who represents another detainee at the psychiatric ward, said she heard details about the suicide from her client but cannot divulge them because the information is classified. She described the force-feeding as “abusive and inhumane.”

Several journalists, including Naomi Wolf, were on a tour of Guantanamo at the time of al Hanashi’s death. They were not allowed to report on the death until after they had left the base.

Read the whole article here.


Related Articles:

Bullshit. *Charisma, Icon, Intelligence, Empty Sandwich

How does the word “bullshit” connect to Charisma, Intelligence and the notion of The Empty Sandwich?To find out the answer to this question we meandered through David Fleming’s Lean Logic. A dictionary unlike any other, Lean Logic encourages readers to actively and intellectually engage with its entries. These entries are often cross-referenced so that you […] Read More

From Farm-to-Table to Farm-to-Everything

No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from hospital and office cafeterias to elementary schools and fast-casual restaurants.Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, since virtually all food was local. Today, most of the food consumed in […] Read More

The Three Cs of Farm-to-School

Most people know about the three “R’s” – reading, writing, and arithmetic. But, have you heard about the three “C’s”?If you, or your kid, is at a school that takes part in the Farm-to-School movement, then you may already know about them.October is National Farm-to-School month, and in their book Farm to Table, authors Darryl […] Read More

“Rules for Revolutionaries” Offers New Political Playbook for Activists

A riveting behind-the-scenes look at the “rules” used by the “revolutionaries” who helped harness the volunteer power that fueled Bernie Sanders’ historic, and insurgent, presidential campaign.Authors Becky Bond and Zack Exley led the Sanders campaign’s efforts to recruit and engage volunteers at an unprecedented level, which was crucial to the Vermont senator capturing 46 percent […] Read More

Born on Third Base: A Q&A with Author and Inequality Activist Chuck Collins

As inequality grabs headlines, steals the show in presidential debates, and drives deep divides between the haves and have nots in America, class war brews. Does it have to be this way?Can we suspend both class wars long enough to consider a new way forward? Is it really good for anyone that most of society’s […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By