Tuesday 11 September 2012 - 11:38

Guantanamo inmate dies at US-run military detention facility

Story Code : 194613
File photo shows a detainee with guards at the US-run prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
File photo shows a detainee with guards at the US-run prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The US Southern Command, in a statement issued on Monday, said that the inmate was found "unconscious and unresponsive" by guards on Saturday during a routine check, AFP reported.

It added, “After extensive lifesaving measures had been performed, the detainee was pronounced dead by a physician."

The Southern Command, however, did not disclose the name and nationality of the prisoner.

It noted that the detainee's remains will be brought home once an autopsy is complete.

“As is standard procedure, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has initiated an investigation of the incident to determine the cause and manner surrounding the death,” the command said.

The US detainment facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was established in 2002 by the Bush administration. Almost 800 detainees have been brought to the prison camp since October 7, 2001, when Washington began the war on Afghanistan.

A total of 1,100 US army and navy personnel are reportedly engaged in guarding the detainees held in nine separate camps at Guantanamo.

International Red Cross inspectors and released detainees alike have described various acts of torture, including extensive use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation, beatings and confinement in small, cold cells.

One of the allegations of abuse at the US camp is the abuse of the religion of the detainees.

According to Amnesty International, of the 173 men held at Guantanamo Bay only three had been convicted under a military commission system, "which failed to meet international fair trial standards."

"Military commission proceedings were conducted in a handful of cases, and the only Guantanamo detainee so far transferred to the US mainland for prosecution in a federal court was tried and convicted,” the international non-governmental organization pointed out.

Upon taking office, Obama signed an executive order to stop military commissions in order to close down the facility by 2010. However, this has not happened yet.