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An American lawyer representing detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp has been found dead in an apparent suicide.
The body of Andy P. Hart, a 38-year-old US federal public defender, was found last week with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. According to Truthout, an investigative blog, news of the attorney’s death came only this Wednesday from an investigator working on Guantanamo detainees’ habeas corpus petitions. That investigator requested anonymity.
Hart was one of three-dozen attorneys to sign a letter urging Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to take immediate and decisive action to bring about an end to the hunger strike that is ongoing in Guantanamo Bay. Of the 166 prisoners in the camp, over 100 are on hunger strike. Twenty-three of those prisoners are being forcefully fed against their will, a process that has been described as "painful."
The American Medical Association has written a letter to the Pentagon stating the forced feeding of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners violates medical ethics. Dr. Jeremy Lazarus of the AMA writes, "Every competent patient has the right to refuse medical intervention, including life-sustaining interventions."
With Warner, Hart was assigned by the government to defend Mohammed Rahim al-Afghani, who was detained by the CIA and allegedly subjected to torture methods until his transfer to Guantanamo in March 2008. The government maintained that al-Afghani was Osama bin Laden's translator and a top al-Qaida official.
Hart also represented Saudi Khalid Saad Mohammed, who was transferred back to Saudi Arabia from Guantanamo in 2009. He was also the attorney for Adel Hakeemy, a Tunisian who has been detained at Guantanamo for 11 years.