A top US official has described the suicides of three detainees at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a "good PR move to draw attention". Speaking to the BBC's Newshour programme, Colleen Graffy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, said the deaths were part of a strategy and "a tactic to further the jihadi cause, but taking their own lives was unnecessary."
Detainees had access to lawyers, received mail and had the ability to write to families, so had other means of making protests, she said.
The men, two Saudis and a Yemeni, were found dead by guards on Saturday morning.
There have been dozens of suicide attempts since the camp was set up four years ago but none successful until now.
Ken Roth, head of Human Rights Watch in New York, told the BBC the men had probably been driven by despair.
As an accredited PR practitioner with more than 15 years experience in the industry, I take strong exception to the association. But I can understand the confusion. It is a known fact that of the more than 40,000 people working in PR today, most if not all are desperate and think about suicide regularly.
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ARTICLE UPDATE 6-12
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack today said, "I would not say that the suicides were a PR stunt."