Sunday, September 16, 2012

Death at Guantánamo Bay

Amnesty International
New York Times
September 15, 2012

Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, a Yemeni citizen and one of the first detainees sent to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in January 2002, died there earlier this month. There is no official autopsy report yet, but in his decade in prison he had gone on hunger strikes and made several suicide attempts.

In 2006 and 2008, during the George W. Bush administration, and again in 2010, during the Obama administration, government officials recommended Mr. Latif for transfer out of Guantánamo as a low-level threat. But he was kept behind bars — though no formal charges were brought against him — because both administrations were wary of sending detainees back to Yemen for security reasons, and other countries were wary of accepting them.

Mr. Latif’s lawyers battled for his freedom in federal court, making him a test case for the rule of law at Guantánamo, which has been notably deficient.