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Newly Released Autopsy Reports Raise Questions About Circumstances in Deaths of Two Guantanamo Detainees

Truthout reports, in this exclusive by Jason Leopold:

The US government detained at Guantanamo a prisoner who was hospitalized for auditory hallucinations he suffered as a teenager and had twice attempted suicide in 2009 while imprisoned at the detention facility.

In March of 2009, Hajji Nassim was found with cuts on both sides of his neck. A month later, he lacerated both of his arms. He blamed the latter suicide attempt on “jinn,” Arabic for demons. Nassim then spent a year at the prison’s behavioral health unit. After he was released, he was administered before bed one milligram of Risperdal, an antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia, to quell his suicidal thoughts and auditory and visual hallucinations. The medication apparently kept him stable.

But despite his well-documented history of mental illness, US officials justified Nassim’s continued detention by insisting that he was a prominent al-Qaeda figure. He was one of the last prisoners transferred to Guantanamo, arriving at the prison in September 2007.

However, Nassim, who was known as Inayatullah at Guantanamo, would eventually succeed in taking his own life. In the dead of night on May 18, 2011, he secured a white bed sheet to a pipe in the recreation area adjacent to his cell, stuck his head through a noose he made and hung himself. He was found at around 3:30 AM. First responders on the scene cut the bed sheet and attempted to revive Nassim in the cell and at a medical treatment facility he was taken to on the island. But efforts to save him failed. Nassim was officially pronounced dead nearly 90 minutes later. He was the eighth prisoner reported to have died at Guantanamo.

Those are the findings contained in Nassim’s autopsy report obtained by Truthout under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the US Army Medical Command.

Read the rest of this report at Truthout.

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