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US military investigating apparent suicide of Guantanamo detainee

[JURIST] Navy Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby [official profile], commander of Joint Task Force - Guantanamo Bay, told AP Tuesday that there are two ongoing investigations into the apparent suicide death [JURIST report] of a Saudi Arabian detainee, adding that the two separate investigations are focusing on how Abdul Rahman Ma'ath Thafir al-Amri [Wikipedia profile] committed suicide and why guards failed to prevent the death. Results from al-Amri's autopsy, which was performed by a pathologist from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) [official website] with an independent observer from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office of Florida, have not been released.

Al-Amri, who had been involved in persistent hunger strikes and had dropped his weight from approximately 150 pounds to 88.5 pounds by November 2005, was detained in a solitary cell for "high value" and non-compliant detainees. According to a report written by an unnamed officer during al-Amri's Combatant Status Review Tribunal [DOD materials], al-Amri intended "to go [to Afghanistan] and fight for a cause that he believed in as a Muslim towards jihad, not to go and fight against the Americans." Government documents indicate that al-Amri had maintained he did not travel to Afghanistan to fight Americans, stating that Americans had trained him while al-Amri was serving in the Saudi military and he "could have [killed Americans] while he was side by side with them in Saudi Arabia." Al-Amri, like the three Guantanamo detainees who committed suicide in June 2006 [JURIST report], was among a group of detainees who had never met with an American lawyer during his detention at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. AP has more.

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