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Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Guantanamo Lawyers Predict More Suicides

Lawyers envision more suicides and despair at Guantanamo Bay if the U.S. Justice Department succeeds in severely restricting access to detainees by defense attorneys, virtually the only contact inmates have with the outside world.

The Justice Department has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to limit the number of lawyer visits allowed to three after an initial face-to-face meeting, to tighten censorship of mail from attorneys and to give the military more control over what they can discuss with detainees.

Lawyers for detainees believe that if their visits are limited, detainee desperation will deepen and more will try to kill themselves. On June 10, 2006, two Saudi detainees and one Yemeni hanged themselves with sheets, the first and only suicides since the 2002 opening of the detention center that now holds about 380 inmates.