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Friday, December 06, 2002

Incident: Abu Kenami dies in detention

Today, Abu Malik Kenami will be detained by 2nd BCT. In four days time, he will be dead.

According to a memo (page 1281) written 28 December 2003, an autopsy was never performed, and so the cause of death could not be determined. However the author of the memo states that "[h]is death was probably due to natural causes with an acute mycardial infarction [a heart attack] as the most probable of these". This conclusion is reached mainly because of the physical exertion of performing "ups and downs" (forced to repeatedly and rapidly stand up and then sit down for up to twenty minutes at a time - description page 1284) and because he was overweight (a BMI of 29.2 classifies him as "overweight") (see page 1295).

Rather than listing heart-failure as likely, one medical witness (page 1329 onward) states that it is very difficult to determine.

Question 4 How did it occur? --
... There are many possibilities to explain "How" it occurred, - this is [illegible] partial [illegible], but I know of no common cause of sudden death with no pre-existing medical conditions, no previous symptoms, and abrupt onset to explain death at his age. It is certainly possible but extremely unlikely.
The witness states that "the most likely cause of death (including only medical, non-trauma cases) in a man of this age and condition" was an undetected infectious disease. Regarding trauma, he states
His exam also demonstrated a small scalp laceration and hematoma [a collection of blood on the surface of the brain] which forced me to entertain trauma as a cause. However it is unlikely to be the case as lesions as small as he had [illegible] would probably not indicate intercranial bleeding.
The investigation concludes with the recommendations that all detainees have physical exams upon arrival, that general population holding areas are monitored with camcorders, and that a location be provided in Mosul to perform autopsies.

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