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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:3 Suicides at Guantanamo Prison Renews Calls for Closing "America's Gulag"
16 Jun 2006
Interview with Retired Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
3 Suicides at Guantanamo Prison Renews Calls for Closing "America's Gulag"

Interview with Retired Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist, conducted by Scott Harris

Three detainees at the U.S. Navy's detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba were found dead in their cells June 10, after hanging themselves with clothes and bed sheets. Two of the men who killed themselves were from Saudi Arabia and one was from Yemen. About 460 people, many of them captured in Afghanistan, have been imprisoned at the Pentagon-run facility some for as long as 4 1Ž2 years. Only 10 of the prisoners there have been charged with crimes while the remaining detainees have been held without charges or trials.

The Pentagon admits that there had been 41 suicide attempts by 25 detainees at Guantanamo, and as many as 89 inmates have participated in hunger strikes this year. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Coleen Graffy commented that the suicides were "a good PR move," while Rear Adm. Harry Harris, Guantanamo's commander characterized the inmate's deaths as "asymmetric warfare."

The three suicides have renewed calls for the closure of the Guantanamo facility. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights, European governments and religious denominations are among the international groups that have demanded that the prison be closed. Between the Lines Scott Harris spoke with retired Brig. Gen. and psychiatrist Stephen Xenakis, a spokesperson with Physicians for Human Rights, who discusses the conditions at the Guantanamo detention center that contributed to the suicides of the three detainees.

Contact Physicians for Human Rights by calling (202) 728-5335 or visit their website at

Related links:

* Amnesty International

* Center for Constitutional Rights

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
betweenthelines (at)
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2006 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
See also:

Copyright by the author. All rights reserved.
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