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Saudis blame US for deaths

News that two Saudis committed suicide at Guantanamo Bay raises scepticism in the kingdom amid allegations that the Americans either tortured the men to death or drove them to kill themselves.

  • By Mariam Al Hakeem, Correspondent
  • Published: 00:00 June 12, 2006
  • Gulf News

Riyadh: News from the US military that two Saudis committed suicide in their cells at Guantanamo Bay raised scepticism in the kingdom amid allegations that the Americans either tortured the men to death or drove them to kill themselves.

Saudi officials on Sunday identified the two dead inmates as Mani Bin Shaman Bin Turki Al Habradi and Yasser Talal Abdullah Yahya Al Zahrani.

Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Mansour Al Turky said that official contacts and procedures had been undertaken for the repatriation of their bodies.

He also emphasised the Saudi government's keenness in taking all the measures to get early release of the remaining Saudi detainees from the prison.

Meanwhile, Dr. Saleh Al Khothlan, head of the monitoring and follow up committee at the Saudi Society for Human Rights, accused the US government of being responsible for the detainees' death.

"There were reports that the detainees have been subjected to various sorts of physical and psychological torture and harassment continuously.

"The US prison authorities did not have any care for their health either," he said, adding that this may have lead to their suicide.

Khothlan urged the Saudi authorities not to rely on the US account of the detainees' death.

"The concerned authorities should take this issue seriously and strive to form an impartial committee represented by the United Nations and other international agencies to find out the real cause of their death," he said.

There are around 110 Saudis still being detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

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