Photo: JTF Gitmo
A guard at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay fired a non-lethal bullet at detainees last year after one tried to climb a fence and others were throwing rocks at the guard tower, officials confirmed on Thursday.This appears to be the first shooting involving “less than lethal” rubber buckshot round in the 11-year history of Guantanamo, reports NBC’s Michael Isikoff.
Isikoff notes that civil rights lawyers instantly reacted, accusing the prison of suppressing information about ongoing riots and protests. Prison officials denied the accusations.
The incident comes at a time when Guantanamo is embroiled in debate about censored court proceedings and the outcome of indefinitely detained “suspects” caught in a legal limbo — where they can neither return home, nor be prosecuted due to lack of evidence.
The Gitmo detention centre has long been a focal point of political controversy. Whether it’s inmates with pet kittens or accusations of civil rights abuses, both the Bush and Obama administrations have had to dedicate resources to considerable damage control.
The shooting and rock throwing occurred on the same $750,000 soccer field that house Republicans lambasted the administration for building last year.
Though Obama vowed to close the prison, he’s come up short. The administration has, on the other hand, stopped imprisoning new detainees.
Leaked diplomatic cables in 2010 revealed Obama’s battle with Congress over detainees. Their unwillingness to allow detainees to come to America led the White House to aggressively pursue deals with other countries over their potential transfer abroad.
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