Guantánamo Bay cancer reports prompt investigation by US navy

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Reuters in New York (via The Guardian).

Complaint calls for carcinogen tests amid concerns of a cancer cluster after seven civilians and members of the military are said to have been diagnosed.

The US navy is investigating a complaint that seeks the evacuation of civilian and military lawyers from parts of the US base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, following reports of cancer cases among personnel working on the trials of detainees there.

At least seven civilians and military members who worked on detainee trials at Guantánamo Bay have been diagnosed with cancer, according to the complaint, which was filed with the Defense Department’s Office of the Inspector General. The complaint calls on American military officials to remove personnel from court facilities on the base and test them and the base itself for carcinogens.

The complaint claims that an unusually large number of relatively healthy and young people who worked at the base have been diagnosed with cancer. Over the past decade, roughly 200 prosecutors, defense lawyers and other court personnel have worked on the base.

The complaint says that the patients may have been exposed to carcinogens when they lived and worked in a location at Guantánamo that was formerly used to dispose of jet fuel, adjacent to an abandoned runway. The patients may also have been exposed to toxins such as asbestos in an older building that initially hosted military trials, according to the complaint…read more.



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