Evidence of three homicides at secret CIA ‘black site’ within Guantánamo Bay

January 19, 2010

As President Obama celebrates his first year in the Oval Office, evidence has emerged that his Administration has suppressed the investigation of three potential homicides at Guantánamo Bay.

According to new evidence from then-Sergeant Joe Hickman, a whistleblower formerly stationed in Guantánamo, the three dead prisoners likely suffered particularly abusive interrogations in a remote corner of the base in the hours before they died. 

The deaths were passed off as suicides by the Bush Administration, who capitalised on the panic by ordering further abuse of prisoners. The Administration also spread self-serving and poisonous lies about the dead men, adding to their families’ distress.

President Obama’s Justice Department has refused to fully investigate the incident.

The allegations were made to Scott Horton of Harpers; his extensive piece makes for chilling reading: http://www.harpers.org/archive/2010/01/hbc-90006368.

Reprieve’s Secret Prisons Investigator Clara Gutteridge said:

“Scott Horton’s investigation indicates that, as usual, Guantánamo’s traumatised prisoners are telling the truth about their treatment. According to our clients, in addition to the secret CIA facility — and another house on the base where some prisoners were taken to be held in solitary confinement — there was also a black site run by US marines on Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. It was located outside the main prison, and was known amongst the prisoners as a place where people were taken to be ‘broken.’ When will these prisoner’s testimonies finally be taken seriously? And when will the perpetrators of these terrible crimes finally face justice?”

Reprieve’s Executive Director Clare Algar said:

“Under President Bush, ‘enhanced interrogations’ were violent, merciless and covert. From a position of such lawlessness it is no great leap to inadvertent homicide and illegal cover-up. If President Obama is serious about restoring international trust in the USA, he simply must investigate allegations like these.” 

For more information please contact Katherine O’Shea at Reprieve’s Press Office katherine.oshea@reprieve.org.uk 020 7427 1099/ 07931592674.

Notes for Editors:

Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each person’s right to a fair trial and saving lives. Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of people facing the death penalty in the USA.

Reprieve’s current casework involves representing 33 prisoners in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, working on behalf of prisoners facing the death penalty, and conducting ongoing investigations into the rendition and the secret detention of ‘ghost prisoners’ in the so-called ‘war on terror.’

Reprieve is a charitable company limited by guarantee; Registered Charity No. 1114900 Registered Company No. 5777831 (England) Registered Office 2-6 Cannon Street London EC4M 6YH; Chair: Lord Bingham; Patrons: Alan Bennett, Julie Christie, Martha Lane Fox, Gordon Roddick, Jon Snow, Marina Warner