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CCR Condemns Death of Fourth Guantanamo Prisoner

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The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) condemns the death of a fourth prisoner held without charge or trial at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The detainee is Saudi but has not yet been identified by the Department of Defense.

"In the last year, the conditions at Guantanamo have become even more bleak: the military has increasingly held people in solitary confinement and continued to refuse to allow independent psychological evaluations. The United States government is responsible for this man's death and must be held accountable," said Wells Dixon, Staff Attorney for the CCR Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative. "By refusing to hear the men's cases or exercise any oversight of their conditions, the judiciary contributed further to the desperation of the detainees, and Congress, in failing to restore the fundamental right of habeas corpus, dealt the final blow."

This death comes nearly one year after the deaths of three men at Guantánamo on June 10, 2006. The Government has still provided extremely limited information to the families and lawyers of the deceased, and challenged an attempt to preserve evidence related to the deaths.

"The legal black hole of Guantanamo is an unconscionable mistake," said Michael Ratner, President of CCR. "Nearly three years ago, the Supreme Court in Rasul held that Guantanamo detainees have the right to challenge their detention. The right of habeas corpus must be restored and Guantanamo must be closed. No one else should have to die because of this tragic mistake."

CCR has requested the identification of the deceased from the Department of Justice, and has demanded that the military preserve all evidence related to the deaths and the deceased. CCR has received no response yet from the Department of Justice.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.