Guantanamo Bay is again in the international spotlight after the suicide of three inmates at the controversial US-run camp in Cuba.
Human rights groups have repeated their calls for the facility’s closure.
The American president said he was deeply worried by the incident, while Britain called it a sad event.
One British former detainee, Shafiq Rasul, said it was only a matter of time before depression drove someone to take his life.
“It comes from despair, from not knowing what’s happening, being told you’re a terrorist when you know yourself you haven’t done anything wrong. I thought about it because I was in the same situation myself,” he said in a television interview.
Civil liberties groups have savaged the Guantanamo Bay commander’s comments that the suicides were an “act of war, not despair.”
“The remarks show a complete lack of compassion and are dangerously inflammatory. And we know that there is something about our human condition that means a life without hope is almost unbearable,” said Liberty’s Shami Chakrabati.
The US Supreme Court is expected to rule in the next few weeks in the case of a Guantanamo prisoner who has challenged the legality of special military tribunals set up by the US government to try so-called “enemy combatants.”