On February 15, 2007, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Center for Justice and International Law, and the International Human Rights Clinic at American University’s law school filed a submission to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemning the U.S. government’s appalling response to the deaths of three Guantánamo detainees in June last year.
On June 10, 2006, the U.S. Department of Defense announced the deaths of three Guantánamo detainees - Yasser Al-Zahrani, Salah Ali Abdullah Ahmed Al-Salami, and Mani Shaman Turki Al-Habardi Al-Utaybi - and then proceeded to deride them in the media, deny information to the family of the deceased, and create harsher conditions for those who remained at Guantanamo.
Two days later, the IACHR, a pan-American body dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights, requested that the U.S. government provide information on the deaths within 10 days. More than four months later, the U.S. government sent the IACHR a meager packet of press releases, briefings, and interviews that did little to illuminate the circumstances of the deaths.
CCR's response to the government includes information that:
• the U.S. government disrespected the men's religious customs when handling their bodies;
• families and counsel of the men have been denied pertinent information concerning the deaths, including official autopsy reports; and
• conditions at Guantánamo Bay since the deaths of the three men have not only not improved, but have continued to deteriorate. The mental health of detainees housed in Camp 6, a maximum-security solitary confinement prison at Guantánamo, is rapidly deteriorating, resulting from a combination of years of baseless imprisonment without trial, psychological torture, and extreme isolation.
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.