A top US official has described the suicides of three detainees at the US base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as a “good PR move to draw attention”. Colleen Graffy told the BBC the deaths were part of a strategy and “a tactic to further the jihadi cause”.
Ken Roth, head of Human Rights Watch in New York, told the BBC the men had probably been driven by despair. “These people are despairing because they are being held lawlessly,” he said. “There’s no end in sight. They’re not being brought before any independent judges. They’re not being charged and convicted for any crime.”
That view was supported by British Muslim Moazzam Begg who spent three years in Guantanamo. He said of the camp’s inmates: “They’re in a worse situation than convicted criminals and it’s an act of desperation.”
But earlier, the camp commander, Rear Adm Harris said he did not believe the men had killed themselves out of despair. “They are smart. They are creative, they are committed,” he said. “They have no regard for life, either ours or their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.”