The Guantanamo Bay prison camp for ”war on terror” suspects faced more criticism Sunday after three inmates hanged themselves.
The suicides on Saturday of two Saudis and one Yemeni detainee constitute a new challenge for President George W. Bush’s administration, which is under increasing pressure to close the camp.
The deaths, which also came amid a prisoner hunger strike, were the first successful suicide bids after repeated attempts by inmates in the camp, located on a US naval base on the southeastern tip of Cuba.
According to AFP, Rear Admiral Harry Harris, the camp’s commander, described the suicides as an act of warfare. “They are smart, they are creative, they are committed,” he said of the prisoners. “They have no regard to life, neither ours nor their own. And I believe this was not an act of desperation, rather an act of asymmetric warfare waged against us.”
The first victim was uncovered early Saturday by an “alert” prison guard who had noticed “something out of the ordinary” in the cell, Harris said in a telephone press conference.
Two other inmates were also found hanging in their cells after guards checked on other prisoners, he said.