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Pentagon says no need for independent probe into Guantanamo suicides

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense [official website] has rejected a demand by Amnesty International [advocacy website] for an independent investigation into last weekend's three detainee suicides [JURIST report] at the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detention center. A Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday that no independent probe was needed and maintained that the military would investigate the deaths itself. Military officials have also asserted that the detainees purposefully concealed their suicides [JURIST report] from guards. In calling for an independent inquiry [press release], Amnesty also criticized remarks by US officials characterizing the suicides as acts of warfare [Telegraph report] waged to elicit sympathy and reiterated the group's position that the detention facility should be closed.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [advocacy website] will visit Guantanamo Bay in the coming days to assess the overall mood of the camp in the wake of the suicides. The European Parliament approved a motion [BBC report] Monday calling for the US to close Guantanamo, echoing previous calls to close the base [JURIST report]. At a summit in Vienna next week, the European Union also plans to discuss a closure with President Bush, who has said that closing the base is possible [JURIST report]. Also, Saudi Arabian officials have renewed calls to release Saudi detainees [JURIST report] at Guantanamo into their custody. AFP has more.

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