Guantánamo Prisoner Dies on Hunger Strike
Adnan Latif, a Guantánamo prisoner who was on a hunger strike to protest his innocence, died this past Saturday. Latif, a Yemeni man who had spent more than a decade in Guantánamo, was identified today. He had been accused of training with the Taliban, though he denied this accusation and was never charged. Military reports show Latif was cleared, but remained held in Guantánamo because the U.S. does not allow prisoners to return to Yemen, as it considers the country unstable. Yet, 55 of the 167 Guantánamo prisoners are Yemeni. Latif was the ninth prisoner to die in Guantánamo.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, an organization that has led the legal battle over Guantánamo, issued a statement condoning the prison and indefinite detention:
Adnan Latif is the human face of indefinite detention at Guantánamo, a policy President Obama now owns. Mr. Latif, held without charge or trial, died a tragic and personal death — alone in a cell, thousands of miles from home, more than a decade after he was abducted and brought to Guantánamo Bay. Like other men, Mr. Latif had been on hunger strike for years to protest his innocence. His protests were in vain.
The Center then mentions Obama’s moratorium on transfers to Yemen, and thus, states that Latif was held indefinitely because of his “citizenship, not his conduct.” The group then criticized the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court for ignoring Latif’s plea, and stated they are responsible for his death.
Adnan Latif’s death is a stark reminder that locking up someone for more than a decade with no foreseeable end has irreparable human consequences. More men will die needlessly unless President Obama finally closes the prison. Adnan Latif’s death must be a clarion call to resume transfers and end this dark period.