Suicide a Last Tool of Defiance at Gitmo

US authorities view suicides as 'asymmetric' jihad
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2011 4:43 AM CDT
Guantanamo Bay prisoners used suicide as a tool of defiance, according to documents made public by Wikileaks' latest release.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

(Newser) – Suicide at Guantanamo Bay prison was more than just the result of desperation or depression. Prison administrators viewed it as “an act of asymmetric warfare waged against us," according to new WikiLeaks documents. In the through-the-looking-glass world of Guantanamo, with its indefinite detentions and little hope for release, suicide became one of the only tools for prisoners to express defiance, reports the New York Times.

While early suicide attempts were viewed as a medical issue, a turning point came after three suicides in June 2006, a period of severe unrest at the controversial prison. Despite the victims' very different backgrounds—a Pakistani religious student, a Saudi Islamic missionary, and a self-proclaimed jihadist fighter—their deaths became a rallying point for the other prisoners, creating the view of "suicide as a continuance of their jihad against the US.”

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