Source : - ABC News Online

June 11, 2006

Greens seek Hicks' return after Guantanamo suicides

The Australian Greens have responded to the suicide of three Guantanamo Bay detainees by calling for the US military prison to be closed.

US Defence says the men, from Saudi Arabia and Yemen, committed suicide by hanging themselves with clothing and bedsheets.

It is the first time since the camp opened that inmates have committed suicide, although there have been more than 40 suicide attempts.

Senator Bob Brown says the Australian Government should have South Australian David Hicks removed from the prison, where the Australian has been held since being captured in Afghanistan.

"The Australian Government has a shameful record of supporting Guantanamo Bay, which should come to an end, and Australian inmate David Hicks should be brought home, face trial, if he's committed some wrongdoing but at least face charges in our country," he said.

Senator Brown says the suicide of three detainees shows how unbearable life at Guantanamo Bay must be for detainees such as Hicks.

"Guantanamo Bay is a hell hole, it's a torture centre - it should be closed down," he said.

"It has no place in civilisation, it has no place in the community of democratic nations who are supposed to obey international law."

Hicks, originally from Adelaide, has been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002.

The 30-year-old convert to Islam was captured in Afghanistan where he allegedly fought alongside the ruling Taliban against US-led forces who invaded after the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

He faces charges of conspiracy to commit war crimes, attempted murder by an unprivileged belligerent and aiding the enemy.

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