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Last Updated: Monday, 19 June 2006, 07:46 GMT 08:46 UK
Post-mortems on Guantanamo pair
Dusk at Guantanamo Bay prison camp
Many inmates have been held for three years without trial
Post-mortem examinations are being carried out on the bodies of two Saudi men said to have hanged themselves at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay.

The father of one of men, Yasser Talal al-Zahrani, says that as a good Muslim his son would not have killed himself.

He believes he died after a scuffle between inmates and prison guards.

Zahrani, fellow Saudi Mani Shaman Turki al-Habardi al-Utaybi and an inmate from Yemen were found dead last week. The US says the three died in a suicide pact.

But Ali Abdullah Ahmed, father of the Yemeni detainee, has already said he believes his son was murdered.

There were scuffles with the guards and some prisoners were severely injured
Talal al-Zahrani
Dead inmate's father

Now Zahrani's father Talal al-Zahrani has told the BBC he believes his son, who was 17 when he was sent to Guantanamo Bay five years ago, died as the result of an incident in the prison last month.

"There were scuffles with the guards and some prisoners were severely injured," he alleged.

"It was reported but then the Americans tried to keep it quiet. Then they announced three suicides."

There is no independent corroboration of this allegation and no official response from the US authorities to it.

The results of the post-mortem examinations being conducted by the Saudi authorities are expected within a week.

Criticism

The defence department has suspended all military trials for suspects at the US detention camp.

No reason was given for the move announced in a Pentagon statement.

The apparent triple suicide has drawn renewed criticism of Guantanamo Bay and calls for the detention facility to be shut down.

The three men were hanged with clothes and bed sheets in their cells. They were the first Guantanamo inmates to die since the first al-Qaeda and Taleban suspects arrived in 2002.

The US has described the three inmates as "dangerous enemy combatants".

However, human rights groups say the US has little or no evidence against many of those at Guantanamo Bay.




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