News

MEDIA COMMENT:

"I was cleared for release….Why am I still here…"https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/02/04/opinion/i-was-cleared-release-guantnamo-three-years-ago-why-am-i-still-here/


In “The Other Latif,” the reporter Latif Nasser covers the legal plight of Detainee 244, Abdul Latif Nasser

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/03/arts/radiolab-the-other-latif-guantanamo.html


There were three men authorised by the CIA to carry out waterboarding on detainees in America’s “war on terror”. Two of them were contractors who are in Guantánamo Bay this week to give evidence. The third has still not been identified 17 years after the torture was committed. In the courtroom of the military commission, the CIA officer was referred to only by three-digit code NZ7, or simply as “the Preacher”….

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/25/some-folks-were-tearful-cia-waterboarding-on-trial-in-guantanamo

More here:

A US psychologist who helped develop the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" techniques has given evidence before a military tribunal in Guantánamo Bay

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-51201558

The two psychologists who designed the US “enhanced interrogation” programme that included waterboarding and other forms of torture give evidence. “The perverse ‘work’ of these psychologists has dramatically set back the global fight against torture. The interrogation methods they championed have had a rippling effect around the world,” said Julia Hall, a human rights lawyer with Amnesty International who is attending the hearings.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/20/guantanamo-psychologists-cia-torture-program-testify


European states were sites of torture: Amnesty has repeatedly said that detainees at Guantánamo should be given fair trials in U.S. federal courts or released—Guantánamo's military tribunals do not meet international fair trial standards.

https://www.newsweek.com/poland-lithuania-romania-torture-guantanamo-cia-1485671


New law keeps Guantanamo open: Guantanamo to "remain in place for at least another year and prisoner transfers to the U.S. will remain prohibited under the fiscal 2020 defense policy bill, signed into law last Friday by President Donald Trump". Provisions in the new National Defense Authorization Act bar the use of funds for any attempt to shut down "Gitmo" and return the base to Cuba. They include prohibitions through Dec. 31, 2020, on transfers of the facility's remaining prisoners to the U.S. for prosecution or medical treatment. https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/12/26/new-law-will-keep-guantanamo-bay-detention-facility-open-least-another-year.html


Drawings detail CIA torture at black site: Sketches show prisoner being waterboarded, placed in stress positions and placed in small boxes as part of a CIA programmehttps://news.sky.com/story/guantanamo-bay-prisoners-sketches-detail-cia-torture-at-black-site-11878888


Biden said that the Obama administration tried to close Guantanamo: Obama did have other options to close Guantanamo, but they were unpopular even within his own party, and it’s not at all clear they would have been successful.  https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2019/dec/20/joe-biden/congress-put-roadblocks-front-efforts-close-gitmo-/


Military judge ruling: War court prosecutors of the five men accused of plotting the Sept. 11 attacks used classification rules to choke off public testimony about whether the C.I.A. or the United States military was in charge of Guantánamo Bay’s most secret prison after it opened in 2006, a military judge ruled this week. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/26/us/politics/gitmo-911trial-ruling.html


Former Guantanamo prisoner relates his ordeal:  https://www.aa.com.tr/en/life/former-guantanamo-inmate-relates-painful-ordeal/1689346


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit hears oral arguments (in Abdul Razak Ali v. Trump): A case whose central question is whether the Due Process Clause applies to limit the length of detention at Guantanamo Bay. https://www.justsecurity.org/67702/d-c-circuit-considers-limits-on-guantanamo-detention/


Sketches detail what the state-approved CIA's interrogation programme looked like : 

https://news.sky.com/story/guantanamo-bay-prisoners-sketches-detail-cia-torture-at-black-site-11878888

also here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/guantanamo-bay-pictures-prison-torture-illustrations-us-black-site-a9236711.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/us/politics/cia-torture-drawings.html


Trump proposed sending immigrants to Guantanamo: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/13/trump-proposed-sending-undocumented-migrants-to-guantanamo-anonymous-book-claims


Indefinite detentionhttps://www.alternet.org/2019/12/guantanamo-on-domestic-soil-the-trump-administration-is-using-an-obscure-provision-of-the-patriot-act-to-indefinitely-detain-a-palestinian-man/


Independent: UK citizens at risk of death penalty or Guantanamo Bay under new deal with US, parliamentary inquiry warns UK citizens are at risk of the death penalty in the US – or of being sent to Guantanamo Bay – under a fast-track data-sharing deal struck by Priti Patel, a parliamentary inquiry is warning.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/uk-citizen-us-death-penalty-guantanamo-bay-priti-patel-a9214326.html


The new movie 'The Report' — which came out Friday 15.11.2019: Extract “...tells the true story of a U.S. Senate staffer who doggedly investigated the CIA's use of torture after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — is a look back on a controversial part of our country's past. But the CIA's torture program continues to have huge implications at the U.S. military court and prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where 40 accused terrorists are still being held…...If you travel to Guantánamo, interview attorneys for its prisoners, read its military court transcripts, and review unclassified government documents, this becomes clear: Torture is a major reason there has still been no trial — and may never be one — for alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other Guantánamo prisoners." : https://choice.npr.org/index.html?origin=https://www.npr.org/2019/11/14/778944195/a-legacy-of-torture-is-preventing-trials-at-guant-namo


Initial handling of prisoners accused of plotting 9/11: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/01/us/politics/gitmo-9-11-trial.html


New book ’The Warning’ : Extract: “Donald Trump proposed designating all migrants entering the US without permission as “enemy combatants” and shipping them to Guantánamo Bay to be detained alongside hardened terrorism suspects, according to a new book written by an anonymous author described as “a senior official in the Trump administration”.Among the many incendiary details contained in A Warning, a behind-the-scenes account of the White House under Trump, is the revelation that the president floated the idea of changing the legal designation of migrants as a way of forcibly keeping them out of the country. The change would effectively have condemned all undocumented migrants to the same legal treatment as the al-Qaida architects of 9/11.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/13/trump-proposed-sending-undocumented-migrants-to-guantanamo-anonymous-book-claims

See more here: https://eu.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2019/11/19/guantanamo-bay-detainee-cia-report-movie-terrorism-pakistan-torture-column/4181382002/


4 News VIDEO: MI6 is to face another criminal investigation "into allegations its officers were party to the torture of Guantanamo detainees. The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has agreed to launch an inquiry into the conduct of British intelligence officers when putting questions to a prisoner waterboarded 83 times by the CIA." https://www.channel4.com/news/mi6-face-another-criminal-investigation-into-allegations-its-officers-were-party-to-guantanamo-torture

Investigation launched: Metropolitan police detectives have launched "an investigation into allegations that MI5 and MI6 officers involved in the interrogation under torture of an al-Qaida suspect committed serious criminal offences. Scotland Yard has confirmed that a senior investigating officer, who is familiar with other rendition cases, has begun examining the role of UK intelligence officials during the questioning of Abu Zubaydah at CIA so-called “black sites”. The Saudi-born Palestinian was seized in 2002 in Pakistan following the previous year’s 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. He was held at secret US military detention centres in Thailand, Poland and Lithuania, subjected to waterboarding and eventually transferred to Guantánamo Bay. A four-year-long inquiry by parliament’s all-party intelligence and security committee published its report last year establishing that MI6 had “direct awareness of extreme mistreatment and possibly torture” of Zubaydah at those locations." https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/mar/31/police-investigating-role-of-uk-officers-in-torture-of-al-qaida-suspect 

CIA torture flights: Detectives investigating the use of Scottish airports by CIA torture flights have "filed a final report to prosecutors more than five years after the probe began. Prosecutors could now level charges against US officials or organisations involved in the flights. A police inquiry into so-called rendition stopovers was ordered by then lord advocate Frank Mulholland in 2013.  In evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee, Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said US officials had refused permission for officers to board a flight to check the occupants." ://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/detectives-probing-use-scots-airports-14078732

Guantanamo sees new construction: the base is "expanding after Trump's decision to keep prison open". https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/guantanamo-sees-new-construction-decade-after-prison-ordered-shut

Guantanamo “forever’ prisoner speaks out: “My faith in many US politicians and media outlets has recently risen dramatically, because of their courageous stand against the Saudi royals,” al-Sharbi conveyed in letters and communications submitted through normal processes at the prison, ….." https://theintercept.com/2019/03/17/guantanamo-bay-prisoners-al-sharbi/

Former Guantanamo prisoner seeks shorter sentence: Majid Khan pleaded guilty in 2012 under a plea deal. "He agreed to cooperate and to testify against other Guantanamo detainees charged with crimes. He will be sentenced by a military commission this summer and faces a maximum of 19 years under the deal."  https://www.stripes.com/news/us/former-us-resident-at-guantanamo-seeking-shorter-sentence-1.575249

Omar Khadr: Canadian court has ruled that a former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr sentence has expired. In 2012 he was repatriated to a Canadian prison, and was released on bail in 2015. Monday's court ruling means he will no longer have conditions on his release and he will be a free man. "I think it's been a while but I'm happy it's here, and right now I'm going to just try to focus on recovering and not worrying about having to go back to prison, or, you know, just struggling," Khadr said https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-47700801

Mohamedou Ould Slahi: Freed from Guantanamo, but imprisoned by borders: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/freed-guantanamo-imprisoned-borders-190312134147339.html

FILE: A US flag flies above a razorwire-topped fence at the 'Camp Six' detention facility at US Naval Station Guantanamo Bay December 10, 2008 [File:Mandel Ngan/Reuters]

At the recent round of talks in Doha, Qatar: Five former Guantanamo prisoners sit across a negotiating table from their US former captors, they are reported to  be "part of the Taliban team discussing the terms of an American troop withdrawal." https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/26/world/asia/taliban-guantanamo-afghanistan-peace-talks.html

Guantanamo hearings stalled by continuing medical concerns: “…..the military commissions at Guantanamo continue to fail in their mission to provide any kind of justice."  https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/blog/guantanamo-hearings-stalled-continuing-medical-concerns

Habeas petition of former Guantanamo prisoner denied: "In an opinion signed on Jan. 28 and released in redacted form on Mar. 15, Judge Royce C. Lambeth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied a petition for a writ of habeas corpus from Abdulsalam Ali Abdulrahman al-Hela, a Yemeni citizen captured in Afghanistan in 2002 and detained at Guantanmo Bay since 2004." https://www.lawfareblog.com/document-habeas-petition-guantanamo-detainee-denied

CIA torture flights: Detectives investigating the use of Scottish airports by CIA torture flights have filed a final report to prosecutors more than five years after the probe began. Prosecutors could now level charges against US officials or organisations involved in the flights. A police inquiry into so-called rendition stopovers was ordered by then lord advocate Frank Mulholland in 2013. https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/detectives-probing-use-scots-airports-14078732

Guantanamo prison to stay open for at least 25 years. Rear-Admiral John Ring has said the focus is "on readiness" to make "sure that the facilities are going to last for 25 years”. Last January, President Donald Trump signed an executive order which reversed former President Obama's 2009 directive to shut down the illegal prison. Following Trump’s signing of the order, "they told us we are going to be here for 25 years or more", said Adm Ring, Commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo. https://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/guantanamo-bay-prison-to-stay-open-for-at-least-25-years

Guantanamo: The "constant rotation of prison guards risks further isolating the inmates, some of whom have still not been charged despite 16 years in detention." https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/at-guantanamo--prisoners-watch-parade-of-us-military-guards-go-by-10907902

What good is Ameirica's constitution if Guantanamo Bay still exists? On a human level, it is a place of misery and despair. And on a larger level, it is a monument to the death of the rule of law  https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/guantanamo-bay-prisoners-rule-of-law-torture-a8614651.html

Artwork created by Guantanamo prisoners here: article dated 20th Dec 2017 https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-12-20/art-made-guant-namo-bay-detainees

Who broke Periodic Review (PRB) at Guantanamo Bay? The PRB "has become a one-way ratchet, only ratifying continued detention and never recommending release”. https://www.lawfareblog.com/who-broke-periodic-review-guantanamo-bay

Torture Inquiry: UK complicity in torture: Back in August (2018), following publication of the Intelligence and Security Committee Reports, Kate Allen of Amnesty International UK said: “We can have no confidence that [British involvement in torture] won’t happen again until we understand exactly what did take place.” Liberty campaign manager Sam Grant said: “Eight years after it was promised, we are, shamefully, still waiting for the judge-led inquiry into UK involvement in torture and rendition. “A proper independent investigation with full access to witnesses is the only way to the bottom of our country’s part in the unforgivable mistreatment of people around the world and to make sure it never happens again.” Freedom From Torture chief executive Sonya Sceats said: “Britain needs to stand up against torture, not be complicit. The Prime Minister must act to ensure this can never happen again.”

Labour queries US pressure over torture & rendition inquiry: A report earlier this year into UK complicity in torture overseas, produced by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), was deemed “provisional” by its chair, Dominic Grieve. He said that Whitehall’s terms and conditions had left it “unable to conduct an authoritative inquiry”. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/07/labour-queries-trump-pressure-over-torture-rendition-inquiry

More here:

Call for torture inquiry: https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/human-rights-groups-renew-call-for-torture-inquiry

UK government misses own deadline: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/aug/30/british-government-misses-own-torture-inquiry-deadline

Will truth be told?: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6016267/DAVID-DAVIS-torture-inquiry-way-finally-tell-truth-darkest-days.html

See NGO response again here:

Joint NGOs statement: https://redress.org/news/joint-ngos-statement-on-the-intelligence-and-security-committees-report-into-uk-complicity-in-torture-and-rendition/

And see text of the debate in Parliament 2nd July 2018 on “Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition”: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-07-02/debates/5FDC06A8-00A0-40C3-9153-8867E07164A1/DetaineeMistreatmentAndRendition

Guantanamo: Periodic Review Board (PRB) appears to be broken. Since President Trump’s inauguration 21 months ago, the PRB—often described as a parole-like body established to determine whether an individual may be transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay—has become a one-way ratchet, only ratifying continued detention and never recommending release. https://www.lawfareblog.com/who-broke-periodic-review-guantanamo-bay

Oldest Guantanamo "Forever Prisoner" Gets New Shot at Transfer: The Guantanamo Bay Periodic Review Board (PRB) convened last Tuesday to determine whether 71 year-old Pakistani businessman Saifullah Paracha should be transferred out of the detention facility. Paracha is Guantanamo’s oldest prisoner and has been indefinitely detained since 2004 without charge. https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/blog/oldest-guantanamo-forever-prisoner-gets-new-shot-transfer

Hearings in the 9/11 death-penalty trial may be held in the Washington area: Extract, " for the first time since the case began, a move some lawyers say would bolster the argument that alleged terrorists are entitled to greater Constitutional protections at Guantánamo trials." https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article218865675.html

More here: Pre-trial hearings. https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/national-security/guanatanamo/article218865675.html

On July 11 in 2016, Mansoor Adayfi boarded a plane and left the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Extract, "The United States had held the Yemeni without charge or trial for more than 14 years before deciding it was safe to release him. There was one catch: The U.S. sent him to Serbia, a country where he knew no one and didn’t speak the language. But could it be worse than spending the rest of his life in Guantanamo Bay?" https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/mansoor-adayfi-guantanamo-serbia_us_5b906feee4b0cf7b003c3d07

The US has threatened sanctions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) if it goes ahead with prosecutions against Americans: Extract, "The court is currently considering prosecuting US servicemen over alleged detainee abuse in Afghanistan. National Security Adviser John Bolton called the court "illegitimate" and vowed the US would do everything "to protect our citizens”.   https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45474864

Useful timeline?: and watch video again ’Trump reverses Obama policy on Guantanamo’:  https://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/09/world/guantanamo-bay-naval-station-fast-facts/index.html

What Guantanamo says about Kavanaugh: As an appeals court judge, he signed on to decisions that deprived detainees of the chance to contest their detentions. Extract from article:  "I’m writing about Guantánamo now because of a little noticed order that came down earlier this month from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That’s the court on which President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, has sat for the past 12 years. The order, and the appeal that produced it, provide a bridge between past and present, between Justice Kennedy and his former law clerk who would replace him, between a battle over the rule of law now fading into history and a battle over the future of the Supreme Court that will play out when Judge Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing begins…." See Article here 

Guantanamo hearing scrapped:  Extract "War court defendants have a right to attend their own hearings, Hadi attorney Adam Thurschwell told Libretto in court Tuesday, saying holding a hearing in Hadi’s absence, “gives the appearance of lawlessness.” Prosecutors disagreed that Hadi has an absolute right to attend all portions of the proceedings against him." https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/national-security/article219171355.html

Marking Banned Books Week, and Guantanamo, the book banning prison: Extract "Big and small libraries across the United States marked Banned Books Week recently with awareness campaigns celebrating the freedom to read in America, and so did this base with two libraries — one for the war on terror prisoners, the other for base residents." https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/national-security/guanatanamo/article219174565.html

A report by NBC said the administration is considering sending as many as 600 captured suspected Isis fighters to a jail in Iraq.  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-send-beatles-isis-suspects-guantanamo-bay-murder-american-hostages-mohammed-emwazi-behe

Controversial Guantanamo judge joins Jeff Sessions in immigration judge ceremony: The military judge who got headlines for convicting a Marine general of contempt and confining him to his Guantánamo quarters has apparently found a new bench — as an immigration judge, prompting defense lawyers to demand that all his rulings since 2014 be thrown out. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article218303315.html

He got out of Guantanamo two years ago. Now he fears he will be deported and killed: Extract, “I have no rights, I have no status. They can arrest me at any time. They can ship me off anywhere,” Adayfi said. “They can do whatever they want,”  https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/mansoor-adayfi-guantanamo-serbia_us_5b906feee4b0cf7b003c3d07

Former Guantanamo prisoners:  Extract, "The four Chinese Uighur fighters were arrested after the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. They were kept prisoner at the Guantanamo camp in Cuba until 2009 when they were flown to Bermuda in a secret deal with the US government to grant them asylum as part of an effort by President Obama to close the prison. The transfer was opposed by Gordon Brown’s government but it has been confirmed that all the men have now been granted British Overseas Territories citizenships by Bermuda, which gives them the right to British passports.The Chinese foreign ministry condemned the release and told the US…" https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/british-passports-for-guantanamo-terror-suspects-869cjspv9

Due process: Guantanamo detainees should be released: Extract, "Yet there are other reasons for the releasing of the detainees. Two of them, Toffiq Al-Bihani and Abdul Latif Nasser have been approved for transfer to other countries who are willing to receive them. Their continued detention is senseless and punitive."  https://eu.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/2018/08/26/due-process-guantanamo-detainees-should-released/1053089002/

Trump planning to send ‘Beatles’ Isis suspects to Guantanamo: Extracts, "The Trump administration is said to be considering sending two British Isis fighters who were part of a group dubbed “the Beatles” to Guantanamo Bay. Hundreds of others could be sent to a jail in Iraq.”...…."A report by NBC said the administration is considering sending as many as 600 captured suspected Isis fighters to a jail in Iraq. A number of high-profile suspects, among them British citizens Alexandar Amon Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh who are accused of being involved in the killing of a humber of western hostages including James Foley and Steven Sotloff, to Guantanamo."   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-send-beatles-isis-suspects-guantanamo-bay-murder-american-hostages-mohammed-emwazi-beheadings-a8515731.html

BRITISH GOVERNMENT MISSES OWN TORTURE INQUIRY DEADLINE: Ian Cobain & Owen Bowcott said (Guardian 30.8.2018: Extract: "Some government lawyers are understood to be concerned that human rights abuses that took place within the context of an international armed conflict could have amounted to war crimes, and that if the UK does not thoroughly investigate, the international criminal court in The Hague could step in. A number of former government ministers have written to May urging that such an inquiry be held. The former justice secretary Ken Clarke said he was disappointed that the deadline had been missed. “I can only hope this means they are working to finalise the details of the independent judge-led inquiry we need. We still do not know fully what went wrong and why, nor who was responsible,” he said. Earlier this month five senior MPs and peers who have served in the armed forces – Tories Andrew Mitchell, David Davis and Crispin Blunt, the former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown and Labour’s Dan Jarvis, wrote to May to say that an inquiry was needed in order to learn from the lessons of the past. Labour said that it would hold an inquiry, if elected, if the government failed to do so. The shadow attorney general, Shami Chakrabarti, said: “The government has now failed to meet its own deadline for a response to cross-party calls for a judge-led inquiry. At a time when the US president has endorsed the use of waterboarding ‘and a hell of a lot worse’, it has never been more important that the UK stand firm against the use of torture and mistreatment.” https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/aug/30/british-government-misses-own-torture-inquiry-deadline


Ministers accused of issuing 'torture warrants' to spies:  Extract "Reprieve is planning to launch a judicial review of the practice of repeatedly granting protection – in effect immunity from prosecution – for MI6 or GCHQ officers in cases involving detainees held overseas.” …….."In its letter before action to the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, Reprieve says: “There can be no licence for torture or for any other inhuman or degrading treatment.”…..“The ISC report indicates that ministers believe they have the power to grant authorisations under section 7 in circumstances where there is a serious risk of torture and the defendants regularly seek and are granted such authorisations where there is a real risk of CIDT (indeed it also appears that such authorisations are granted where CIDT is known to occur).”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/06/ministers-accused-of-issuing-torture-warrants-to-spies-james-bond-clause

The Hague may step in if Britain fails to launch inquiry: Extract, "Senior Scotland Yard officers are studying a parliamentary report that revealed the true scale of the UK’s involvement in torture and rendition after 9/11, as pressure mounts for a police investigation or judge-led inquiry." https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/29/police-study-uk-rendition-report-amid-pressure-to-investigate

On 2nd July 2018, MP Kenneth Clarke (Rushcliffe) (Con) asked the following question of the Sec. of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: 'To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on whether the Government will now reinstate the judge-led inquiry that the former Government promised in 2012, in the light of the two Intelligence and Security Committee reports on detainee mistreatment and rendition published on 28 June 2018.’ 

Minister Sir Alan Duncan replied. 

MPs who took part in debate:  MPs Emily Thornberry (Lab), Dominic Grieve (Con)(Ch. ISC), Patrick Grady (SNP), Andrew Mitchell (Con), Christine Jardine (LD), Dr Julian Lewis (Con), Mike Gapes (Lab/Co-op), Sir Roger Gale (Con), Joanna Cherry (SNP), Richard Benyon(Con), David Hanson (Lab), John Penrose (Con), Alistair Carmichael (LD), Philip Holobone (Con), Andy Slaughter (Lab), Catherine West (Lab), John Grogan (Lab), Stuart C McDonald (SNP), Jim Shannon (DUP),  

See full debate in Hansard here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2018-07-02/debates/5FDC06A8-00A0-40C3-9153-8867E07164A1/DetaineeMistreatmentAndRendition

Reprieve: Torture Inquiry, long overdue:  https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/reprieve-torture-inquiry-long-overdue

Article by Ian Cobain: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/02/mps-press-judicial-inquiry-post-911-human-rights-abuses

Guardian View on Outsourcing Torture: A shaming story: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/01/the-guardian-view-on-outsourcing-torture-a-shaming-story

Human Rights groups call for torture inquiry:  

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/human-rights-groups-renew-call-for-torture-inquiry

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/h-splash-british-intelligence-agencies-complicit-us-torture

True scale of UK role in torture and rendition: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jun/28/uk-role-torture-kidnap-terror-suspects-after-911-revealed

Why did the Gibson Inquiry into Rendition disappear: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/06/gibson-inquiry-rendition-david-cameron-uk-torture

Due process: Guantanamo detainees should be released: Extract, "Yet there are other reasons for the releasing of the detainees. Two of them, Toffiq Al-Bihani and Abdul Latif Nasser have been approved for transfer to other countries who are willing to receive them. Their continued detention is senseless and punitive." https://eu.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/2018/08/26/due-process-guantanamo-detainees-should-released/1053089002/

He got out of Guantanamo two years ago. Now he fears he will be deported and killed: Extract, “I have no rights, I have no status. They can arrest me at any time. They can ship me off anywhere,” Adayfi said. “They can do whatever they want,” https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/mansoor-adayfi-guantanamo-serbia_us_5b906feee4b0cf7b003c3d07

Former Guantanamo prisoners:  Extract, "The four Chinese Uighur fighters were arrested after the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. They were kept prisoner at the Guantanamo camp in Cuba until 2009 when they were flown to Bermuda in a secret deal with the US government to grant them asylum as part of an effort by President Obama to close the prison. The transfer was opposed by Gordon Brown’s government but it has been confirmed that all the men have now been granted British Overseas Territories citizenships by Bermuda, which gives them the right to British passports.The Chinese foreign ministry condemned the release and told the US…" https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/british-passports-for-guantanamo-terror-suspects-869cjspv9

UK complicity in torture: Extract, "And Cage research director Asim Qureshi said the report was “another example” of the “culture of impunity when it comes to the lived experiences of those who were harmed by agents of the state.” Mr Straw, who as foreign secretary was responsible for MI6 from 2001 to 2006, claimed that much of the report was news to him.” https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/h-splash-british-intelligence-agencies-complicit-us-torture

The intelligence and security committee has revealed the scale of abuse. We now need an inquiry with access to all witnesses: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/commentisfree/2018/jul/01/britain-torture-911-rendition-cia

'UK must not let standards slip’ in face of terror says Tory MP Ken Clarke: Extract "The home secretary broke a decades-long policy of refusing to aid investigations that could result in capital punishment by sharing evidence against alleged “Beatles” Alexanda Kotey andEl Shafee Elsheikh. Currently imprisoned by the Syrian Democratic Forces, they are to be transferred to the US after months of diplomatic wrangling over which country would take responsibility for their prosecution.”…..”Mr Clarke, the former home secretary and current chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition, said he could not remember any other cases where assurances against capital punishment had not been sought. “We should have nothing to do with cases of this kind unless we have assurances that people aren’t subject to the death penalty,” https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/isis-fighters-death-penalty-beatles-law-human-rights-standards-us-slip-ken-clarke-a8460676.html

Trump’s plan: Extract, "The government is considering transferring Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, two ISIS fighters accused of participating in the murder of American hostages, to the Guantanamo facility, NBC News reported on Thursday. If President Donald Trump follows through on this plan, one or both men would probably oppose it. In the resulting court battle, the government would likely be forced to defend using a law that was passed in 2001 to authorize war against the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks to fight a group that was formed more than a decade later.”……"Trump sending additional people to Guantanamo virtually guarantees a litigation challenge about the authority to detain alleged ISIS fighters under the 2001 AUMF,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the national security project at the American Civil Liberties Union.” https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/trump-guantanamo-court-isis-war_us_5b89b2a9e4b0162f47234fed

Guantanamo guard and Guantanamo detainee re-unite: Extract, "Mohamedou Ould Slahi and Steve Wood met in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2004. At the time, Slahi had been in captivity for two years, accused of acts of terrorism. Wood, then a member of the National Guard, was assigned to watch the Mauritania native. For nine months, they spent their days together. After more than a decade, the two saw each other once again this spring, when Wood traveled to Slahi's home in Mauritania to see his old friend.” https://www.npr.org/2018/08/12/637932193/a-guantanamo-guard-and-a-detainee-reunite-in-mauritania?t=1535905917320

Certification and the fear of blame: Extract -  "Congress fiercely opposed President Obama’s efforts to close Guantanamo and used a variety of means to obstruct him. Certification requirements were one effective tactic. Beginning in 2010, Congress required that, prior to transferring a Guantanamo detainee to a foreign country, the defense secretary certify that the host country had taken the steps necessary to ensure that the transferee “cannot engage or re-engage in any terrorist activity.” The provision effectively made President Obama’s secretaries of defense “personally responsible for preventing recidivism” ……"Understandably, none of them wanted to be on the hook for a potential terrorist attack. During his tenure, Secretary Robert Gates made no certifications. Secretary Leon Panetta did not either. “As Secretary, that provision required that I sign my life away,” Panetta said. And while Secretaries Chuck Hagel and Ash Carter eventually certified a number of transfers, it was not without significant delay and arm-twisting." :https://www.lawfareblog.com/guantanamo-certification-and-fear-blame

A panel of experts in national security and military law recommends either ending or reforming the military commissions being used to try terrorism suspects at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to a report the ABA shared in letters sent to two Congressional committees Tuesday: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/guantanamo_bay_military_commissions_should_end_says_report_to_congress_shar

Carol Rosenberg, the military affairs reporter for the Miami Herald and McClatchy, is being honored by the American Bar Association for her coverage of the military commissions at Guantánamo Bay: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article211747094.html

Guantanamo eavesdropping inquiry called off by Federal Appeals Court: Extract "A federal court has canceled its inquiry into monitoring of attorney-client meetings at Guantánamo, and will instead permit a Pentagon review panel to tackle underlying issues that have paralyzed the USS Cole war crimes case.” http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article211650474.html

This week, the White House seemed to acknowledge the obvious: with no plan or political will to do anything with Guantanamo's 40 remaining inmates, some of them could be stuck there for the rest of their lives. https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/world/2018-05-24-guantanamo-geriatrics-detainee-population-quietly-ages/

Showing of Guantanamo prisoner’s art blocked: Extract "Ammar al Baluchi, a prisoner held at Cuba’s Guantánamo Bay dentition facility, will not be allowed to show his artwork. On Friday, a military commission judge denied a motion from the detainee’s lawyer calling for the Department of Defense to lift restrictions prohibiting the display and distribution of his paintings" https://news.artnet.com/art-world/guantanamo-prisoner-art-1286030

History teacher explains why young people in the US should know about Guantanamo: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/guantanamo-bay-explained 

Mattis makes his recommendations re. Guantanamo: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/385868-mattis-delivers-guantanamo-guidance-to-white-house

Ahmed Al-Darbi’s transfer reduces the total number of Guantánamo detainees to 40: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/02/guantanamo-prison-ahmed-al-darbi-release-trump-administration

Destroying Camp X-Ray a big mistake: Extract "Preserving Camp X-Ray is critical no matter what you believe about Guantánamo. Camp X-Ray must be saved not because there is consensus about what happened there and what it means – but precisely because there isn’t." https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/12/guantanamo-bay-camp-x-ray-destroying-mistake

Guantanamo …about to get a new lease of life:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/plan-to-expand-detention-camp-at-guantanamo-bay-jbc789mmm

Its Groundhog Day in Guantanamo Bay:  "In short, if Donald Trump had any interest in a sensible budget, he would begin by cutting out this monumental waste of money. It is a shame that President Obama failed to fulfil his promise to close the prison, but this should not lessen our own commitment to make sure it happens" Clive Stafford Smith 27.3.2017. Article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/clive-stafford-smith/guantanamo-bay_b_15634412.html

Guantanamo by the Numbers - Published on American Civil Liberties Union https://www.aclu.org/ : Last updated March 2017. Number of men imprisoned at Guantanamo by the Department of Defense since the prison opened on January 11, 2002: 779/ Number of men still imprisoned at Guantanamo today as of May 2018 is 40/ Number of men still imprisoned at Guantanamo after being cleared for release by the government: 5/ Number of prisoners not charged with a crime and not cleared for release: 26./ For more data on Guantanamo see the ACLU document here"     https://www.aclu.org/print/node/40884

ACLU has said "Fashioned as an “island outside the law” where terrorism suspects could be detained without process and interrogated without restraint, Guantánamo has been a catastrophic failure on every front. It is long past time for this shameful episode in American history to be brought to a close."

President Trump’s Guantanamo delusion: "President Donald Trump has never been particularly lucid on the subject of the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He is for it, of course. Early last year, at a campaign rally, he said, “I watched President Obama talking about Gitmo, right, Guantánamo Bay, which, by the way, which, by the way, we are keeping open. Which we are keeping open . . . and we’re gonna load it up with some bad dudes, believe me, we’re gonna load it up.” This cartoonish threat raised the question of where or in which putative wars the United States would find these new inmates. " See article here: http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/president-trumps-guantanamo-delusion

Trump and US secret prisons: "Yet if Trump succeeds, the consequences for human rights may be worse than those of the Bush administration’s policy." 
Article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/02/09/this-is-what-will-happen-if-trump-brings-back-secret-priso

As Trump takes office we must protect the powerless: "The next four years promise to be a fairly dictatorial era in human rights terms. At Reprieve, we believe it is all the more important that we protect the most powerless against the powerful." Clive Stafford Smith 12.1.2017. Article here:  http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/clive-stafford-smith/donald-trump-human-rights_b_14103882.html



BOOKS & VIDEOS

BOOKS

1) Confessions Of A Terrorist: Savage indictment of terror untruths. Confessions Of A Terrorist by Richard Jackson (Zed Books, £16.99) - Richard Jackson is one of the world's leading experts on terrorism and Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Otago, New Zealand. 

See review here: https://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-e094-book-confessions-of-a-terrorist

2) Sami al-Hajj’s memoirs  

Prisoner 345 - My Six Years in Guantanamo Every one of the 800 prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay has a powerful story to share and al-Hajj's memoirs, Prisoner 345 - My Six Years in Guantanamo, is just one of them.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/05/guantanamo-prison-survivor-sami-al-hajj-shares-story-180505151911693.html

3) Guantánamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi

Guantánamo Diary, Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s extraordinary account of rendition, captivity and torture reveals, more vividly than any book in the previous decade of shock-and-awe ferocity, how he and countless other men became victims of a profound sense of individual and collective emasculation. His captors tried to re-establish their full-spectrum dominance in a variety of ways.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/feb/13/guantanamo-diary-mohamedou-ould-slahi-review-global-war-terror-witness

4) Torture- Does It Work? Interrogation Issues and effectiveness in the Global War on Terror

Torture-Does It Work? Yvonne Ridley probes for an answer through a meticulous review of documents and accounts from earlier conflicts, including World War II, Vietnam and the Algeria-France wars, as well as political memoirs and materials recovered under the Freedom of Information Act in the US and UK, and formerly classified documents from the UK National Archives.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Torture-Interrogation-issues-effectiveness-Global/dp/1782668306


5) Enemy Combatant: The Terrifying True Story of a Briton in Guantánamo: The Terrifying True Story of a Briton in Guantanamo

Moazzam Begg is an ordinary man who has endured an extraordinary fate -- imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit and whose precise nature has never been determined. As far as the US government was concerned, it was enough to label him an 'enemy combatant'. Moazzam was arrested in Pakistan, where he was helping set up education programmes for children, in the panic-stricken months after the 9/11 attacks. He spent three years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement, and was subjected to over three hundred interrogations, death threats and torture, witnessing the killings of two detainees.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Enemy-Combatant-Terrifying-Guant%C3%A1namo-Guantanamo/dp/1416522654

6) Guantanamo Files: The stories of the 774 Detainees In America's Illegal Prison

“In Andy Worthington’s The Guantánamo Files, the whole story of the Cuban camp emerges as a ghastly experiment in which the terrorist suspects became guinea pigs in a vast experiment of methods to crack the human soul. [This] is a powerful, essential and long-overdue piece of research, providing the first real Who’s Who of those held at the Cuban base.” Stephen Grey, New Statesman

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00V50TX3O/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

VIDEOS

Guantanamo Bay: The Hunger strikes


Moazzam Begg: Full Address & Q&A: Oxford Union



Guantanamo Ex-Detainees Talk Through There Past Torture


Guantanamo Diary: torture & detention without charge


The First Report to Expose Guantanamo Torture