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Guantanamo commander says prisoner defiance widespread

[JURIST] Guards at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] found nooses in prisoners' cells after three detainees committed suicide [JURIST report] earlier this month by hanging themselves using clothing and bed linens, according to the US detention center's commander. Rear Adm. Harry Harris [SourceWatch profile] also said Tuesday that detainees stage have staged suicide attempts and hunger strikes [JURIST news archive] in an effort to undermine the US-led war on terror and described defiance in the detention center as widespread.

A Guantanamo doctor also said Tuesday that detainees hid pills in their clothing weeks before the three suicides, around the time when two other detainees overdosed on medication in an apparent suicide attempt [JURIST report]. Another doctor reported that mental health professionals had examined the three detainees that committed suicide one to two weeks before their deaths, finding no signs of depression or mental conditions that would indicate thoughts of suicide. Harris said the medical examination results imply that the prisoners committed suicide as a political act, but the United Nations, human rights groups and foreign governments have demanded that the US close Guantanamo Bay [JURIST report] because of the harsh conditions in indefinite detention without charge or trial that might have driven the three men to commit suicide. Reuters has more. AP has additional coverage.

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