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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

Detainee Dies at Guantanamo

The U.S. military announced Thursday that Awal Gul, a 48-year-old ex-Taliban commander, died of a heart attack after exercising at Guantanamo.

Gul had reportedly been working out on an elliptical machine inside the prison’s Camp 6 Tuesday evening and then collapsed in the shower. According to the Miami Herald, Gul had been in U.S. custody since late 2001 although other reports indicate he was captured in 2002. He has been at Guantanamo since October 2002.

The Miami Herald also reports that Gul was one of 48 ‘indefinite detainees’ designated by the Obama administration.

For the full text of the Miami Herald article, click here

For the relevant BBC article, click here.

For Ben Wittes' comments on Lawfare blog, click here. Wittes also includes remarks from the Center for Constitutional Rights, reposted below:

"Awal Gul’s death illustrates too well what Guantánamo has become – a prison where Muslim men are held indefinitely until they die because the president lacks political courage to release or charge them in any forum.

President Obama must close Guantánamo lest more detainees die there, including roughly 90 men who are approved for transfer at some undetermined point in the future.

CCR also condemns the Defense Department for recycling untested allegations of Awal Gul’s association with terrorism.  If history shows anything, these claims were likely coerced out of Mr. Gul or others, and would likely collapse under judicial review.

It shames the Defense Department to speak ill of the dead to justify the years-long detention of a man who never saw the inside of a courtroom.

This is the seventh reported death of a detainee at Guantanamo, none of which have been adequately investigated. The military has taken years to release the findings of its investigations, if at all. And with respect to three men who died at the prison in June 2006, which the military reported as suicides, its findings were thrown into serious question after soldiers stationed at the base at the time came forward with evidence of a government cover-up of the true circumstances of the deaths."

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