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Washington Didn't Want You to See this Photo Guantanamo
Star journalist captures landmark protest hours before a suicide puts heat on Obama
WASHINGTON - A Guantanamo Bay detainee committed suicide late Monday just hours after two Chinese Muslim captives staged the detention centre's first public protest, increasing the pressure on U.S. President Barack Obama to outline his plan of how he will close the offshore prison.
Two Uighur detainees at
Yemeni Muhammad Ahmad Abdallah Salih, 31, is the first prisoner to die since the White House changed hands four months ago. His suicide follows weeks of criticism from both ends of the political spectrum over the fate of the remaining 240
News of the suicide was emailed to the media just as a flight bringing journalists from
Khadr, 22, is accused of war crimes, including the murder of a
Hours after Khadr's brief hearing Monday, fewer than a dozen journalists on the trip, including a
The group was at an
As the journalists neared the fence line, the captives held up messages written in crayon on prison-issued sketch pads, knowing the Pentagon prohibits journalists from speaking to detainees.
For a few minutes they silently turned the pages quickly, as journalists shot video, photos and scribbled down their messages.
"We are being held in prison but we have been announced innocent a corrding to the virdict in caurt," one message said. "We need to freedom (sic)."
Another stated, "
The Uighur prisoners with Chinese citizenship have been cleared for release but there's nowhere for them to go since the minority group is persecuted in its Communist-controlled homeland. The
Reporters were ushered away from the fenced-in area shortly after the Uighurs had their written protest. One of the captives yelled as the gate was locked behind the group: "Is Obama Communist or a Democrat? We have the same operation in
Journalists were later forbidden from sending photos or video footage of the signs until
Pentagon ground rules signed by reporters stipulate that images of detainees must be pre-screened and cannot identify the captives due to regulations in the
Hours after the protest guards found Salih unresponsive in his cell in a separate area of the prison and attempts to revive him failed.
He had been held without charges at
Three detainee suicides in June 2006 under the George W. Bush administration drew international outrage, further fuelled by comments about the military's reaction.
"They have no regard for human life, neither ours nor their own," then-Guantanamo commander Rear Adm. Harry Harris Jr. said. "I believe this was not an act of desperation but an act of asymmetric warfare against us."
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs