Yemeni Gitmo detainee’s body emptied prior to repatriation Al-Salimi’s Gitmo suicide denied [Archives:2006/956/Front Page]

June 19 2006

SANA'A, June 18 – Ali Abdullah Al-Salimi denied that his son Salah Addin, who U.S. authorities at the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba declared dead by suicide, committed such an act, saying, “I don't believe the story that my son committed suicide. He couldn't do so because he was Muslim and true Muslims don't commit suicide, as this is prohibited in Islam. My son was strongly devoted to his faith and religion.”

Instead, the father asserted that U.S. soldiers killed his son and said he won't bury him until his body is checked legitimately by an international committee. He also sent a cable of condolence to the friendly American people for “the death of their consciences” as he said. He called upon them to reconsider and not make Arab and Islamic people hate and detest them, emphasizing that they should reconsider the situation at Guantanamo and other U.S. detainments.

In a press conference last Sunday, Yemeni Parliament members and lawyers denied the U.S. story regarding Salah Addin's suicide, demanding a fact-finding committee to disclose the truth and requesting Yemen's government to move for releasing other Yemeni Guantanamo detainees.

Najeeb Ghanem, former Minister of Health and head of Parliament's Health and Population Committee, declared that Salah Addin's body was emptied of all that could provide information about his death, including his blood vessels, bowels, brain, heart and liver, which he alleged U.S. specialists intentionally removed.

He further noted that the U.S.-issued death certificate states Al-Salimi was dead as he hung himself stressing that HOOD might consult international experts to investigate into this matter.

Ghanem asserted that the difficult situation Guantanamo detainees experience would kill them before they'd resort to committing suicide, which Islam prohibits. He also called upon all tolerant and peace-loving nations to act to close Guantanamo and other U.S. detainments.

Lawyer and former Member of Parliament Mohammed Nagi Alaw said his organization, HOOD, is attempting an international probe into the case and other cases to pressure the U.S. Administration to close Guantanamo and other such detainments. He also pointed out that a large number of Yemenis are in various detainments both inside and outside the U.S., including Abdulrahim Al-Nashri, Ramzi bin Al-Shaibah and Yasser Shaqiq.

Additionally, Alaw expressed sorrow that U.S. authorities emptied Salah Addin's bowels to hide the truth behind his suicide, pointing out that U.S. authorities removed members of the Yemeni government, lawyers for Yemeni Gitmo detainees as well as detainees' families.

Alaw further noted that the Guantanamo detainment center provides clear evidence of a human rights setback, as well as generating hate and animosity toward the U.S. He added, “We don't defend anyone for his misdoings, but we defend them in the face of illegal and wrong procedures against them.”

Pointing out that Gitmo detainees were captured in various locations across the world, Alaw called upon Yemeni, Arab and Islamic governments to take the case seriously in a manner matching the seriousness of foreign organizations.

Furthermore, Alaw said HOOD has contacted other organizations to help reveal the truth behind the incident due to Yemeni hospitals' insufficiency to medically check the body, pointing out that Al-Karama Organization from Qatar is ready to cooperate with HOOD.

Alaw said Yemen's government is ready to conduct a local investigation into the case; however, HOOD wants it to be a beginning to an international one. He also said that the Yemeni government should not have received Al-Salimi's body without his medical report as notified by the Yemeni Embassy in Washington.

Member of Parliament Sakher Al-Wajeeh declared, “The detainees in the U.S. were killed long ago, from the time they were detained at Guantanamo away from international law and divine legislation,” pointing out that he also doesn't believe the suicide claim because the suicide was committed with the same mechanism while the detainees were separated from each other.

HOOD previously called on Yemeni scholars, political parties and civil society organizations to take a stand and a practical attitude toward alleged crimes the U.S. government committed regarding the death of three detainees, one of them was a Yemeni national. HOOD also called on Abulmajeed Al-Zindani, the Joint Meeting Parties, the ruling party and its government, which is supposed to be responsible for defending Yemeni citizens inside and outside the country, to take decisive steps.

In a statement on its web site, HOOD also condemned Arab and Yemeni silence regarding the deaths of three at Guantanamo at the hands of U.S. soldiers. Additionally, the organization denounced the submissive silence of Yemen's government, political party authorities and cultured and educated citizens at continued U.S. crimes against Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo, considered today to be a sign violating human rights.

Moreover, HOOD called on all institutions led by Yemeni religious scholars and party chairmen to conduct a symbolic funeral for Salah Addin Al-Salimi. It also stressed that Yemeni religious scholars should call for making prayer over his soul and those of his two Saudi companions. Similarly, HOOD called on Saudi religious scholars to do the same.

Finally, HOOD requested the Yemeni government play its role regarding its citizens and not participate in burying the body until an investigation of the incident is conducted. It also called upon human rights activists and civil society organizations in Yemen and the Arab world to make the burial ceremonies of these individuals an international protest against human rights violations by the U.S. Administration in the name of the War on Terrorism, ultimately leading to closing such detainment centers and punishing the perpetrators.