News

MEDIA COMMENT:

11 now cleared: Currently, 11 prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, including Hilal and Sharqawi, have been cleared to be sent elsewhere and are waiting for the US State Department to arrange their repatriation. 

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/guantanamo-yemen-detainees-win-release-held-without-charge

More here:

Latest approved transfers/releases: Two Guantanamo Bay prisoners held for nearly 20 years without charge have been approved for release as the Biden administration quietly moves to close the infamous facility before the 20th anniversary of 11 September, according to reports.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/guantanamo-bay-camp-prisoners-transfer-b1868692.html


Pressure on BIDEN: A week after President Biden’s inauguration, 111 organizations, including Close Guantánamo, sent a letter to the new president urging him to close the prison, around the same time that seven former prisoners — all authors —  wrote an open letter to Biden, urging the prison’s closure, which was published in the New York Review of Books. Other calls for the prison have come from Bill Clinton advisor Anthony Lake and our co-founder, the attorney Tom Wilner, from Lee Wolosky, former Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure under Barack Obama, and from former CIA analyst Gail Helt.

https://www.eurasiareview.com/21062021-retired-admirals-urge-biden-to-release-everyone-at-guantanamo-not-charged-with-a-crime-oped/


Data update: Times team has revamped an online database that makes it easier to learn about the roughly 780 prisoners who were taken there, including the 40 who remain.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/15/insider/guantanamo-prisoners-database.html



Guantánamo: Defence counsel and the Commissions’ convening authority have reached an agreement about convicted Al Qaeda courier Majid Khan. The agreement is said to head off the need for Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers to testify about his torture in his sentencing proceeding. The jury will be instructed to impose a sentence of 25 to 40 years; but under the new agreement the judge will reduce it to 11 to 14 years (including time served). Its said military judge, Army Colonel Douglas K. Watkins, made a decision yo remove “an additional year because of prosecutorial misconduct”. An earlier release date than expected is possible.

https://www.justsecurity.org/76640/torture-evidence-and-the-guantanamo-military-commissions/

 

Periodic Review Board: Three more prisoners have been cleared for release, total cleared for transfer/release is 9. The three men are, oldest prisoner, Pakistani Saifullah Paracha, Yemeni Uthman Abd Rahim Uthman and Pakistani Abdul Rabbani. 

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-05-18/us-approves-release-oldest-guantanamo-bay-prisoner


A Letter to President Biden from a Former Intelligence Officer: Close Guantanamo Bay

https://www.justsecurity.org/75941/a-letter-to-president-biden-from-a-former-intelligence-officer-close-guantanamo-bay/


NPR's Sacha Pfeiffer speaks with Lee Wolosky, former special envoy for Guantanamo under President Obama, about what it would take for President Biden to shut down the detention facility

https://www.npr.org/2021/05/09/995264948/former-guantanamo-special-envoy-advocates-for-prisons-closure


OPINION: ANTHONY LAKE AND THOMAS WILNER

Anthony Lake was national security adviser to President Clinton from 1993 to 1997. Thomas Wilner was counsel of record to Guantánamo detainees in the two Supreme Court cases establishing their right to habeas corpus and in the separate case establishing their right to legal counsel. Extract “The other 28 prisoners still at Guantánamo are not accused of engaging in or supporting terrorist acts. Rather, the government claims that these men fought against U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan almost 20 years ago and they are being detained essentially as prisoners of war. Even were those allegations true — and the detainees never have had the opportunity to contest them through a due process hearing — and even if they provided justification for detaining these men originally, how do we justify continuing to detain them two decades later? These men should be repatriated promptly unless it can be shown that doing so poses a serious and imminent risk to our national security.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin should be directed to appoint independent and impartial fact-finders (e.g., retired military judges, retired federal or state court judges or experienced members of the bar) to make that finding. And at long last, the Guantánamo prison, with justice, could be closed.”

https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/549584-closing-guantanamo-is-long-overdue


Recalling the first Guantanamo detainees: Extract “Now, it has been more than a year since a reporter set foot on that base, mostly because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the outpost has become more isolated than ever. Very few lawyers have visited the detainees, after undergoing a two-week quarantine, and a delegation of the International Red Cross has visited just once rather than four times a year. Now we wait and wonder when, however belatedly, there will be a 9/11 trial. No new hearing dates have been set, and the case is once again awaiting a new military judge.This has probably been the most secretive of all the years. The admiral in command of the prison took over in May 2019 and, unlike his predecessors, has never met a reporter there or permitted representatives of the media to visit the prison zone, which for years was a regular occurrence. Back when the operation began, and the attacks of Sept. 11 were still a raw national trauma, the Marine general in charge could not always answer the reporters’ questions. But he understood our right to ask them, and did his best to answer.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/03/insider/first-guantanamo-prisoners.html


U.S. President Joe Biden intends to close the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay: During a press briefing on Feb. 12, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed: “That’s certainly our goal and our intention.” ...She added that “they are undertaking a National Security Council process to assess the current state of play that the Biden administration has inherited from the previous administration, in line with our broader goal of closing Guantanamo.”........ The allegations that detainees were tortured have been confirmed by the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Human Rights Watch (HRW)....“Guantanamo is a place of arbitrariness and abuse, a site where torture and ill-treatment were rampant and remains institutionalized, where the rule of law is effectively suspended and where justice is denied,” a group of U.N. experts said on Jan. 11. They also urged the new U.S. administration to immediately close the "disgraceful" Guantanamo Bay. Amnesty International on Jan. 11 released a report on human rights violations at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The report stated that the U.S. has exposed detainees to “secret transfers, incommunicado interrogations, force feeding of hunger strikers, torture and enforced disappearance, unfair trial proceedings.” Former U.S. President Barack Obama once also said that “in the dark halls of Abu Ghraib and the detention cells of Guantanamo, we have compromised our most precious values.” However, the U.S. has not been investigated and held to account for crimes committed against detainees. About 40 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay

https://www.dailysabah.com/opinion/op-ed/will-joe-biden-close-guantanamo-bay


Biden launches review:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-biden-guantanamo/exclusive-biden-administration-launches-review-aimed-at-closing-guantanamo-prison-white-house-idUSKBN2AC1Q4





A Letter to President Biden from a Former Intelligence Officer: Close Guantanamo Bay

https://www.justsecurity.org/75941/a-letter-to-president-biden-from-a-former-intelligence-officer-close-guantanamo-bay/


NPR's Sacha Pfeiffer speaks with Lee Wolosky, former special envoy for Guantanamo under President Obama, about what it would take for President Biden to shut down the detention facility.

https://www.npr.org/2021/05/09/995264948/former-guantanamo-special-envoy-advocates-for-prisons-closure


OPINION: ANTHONY LAKE AND THOMAS WILNER

Anthony Lake was national security adviser to President Clinton from 1993 to 1997.

Thomas Wilner was counsel of record to Guantánamo detainees in the two Supreme Court cases establishing their right to habeas corpus and in the separate case establishing their right to legal counsel.

Extract “The other 28 prisoners still at Guantánamo are not accused of engaging in or supporting terrorist acts. Rather, the government claims that these men fought against U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan almost 20 years ago and they are being detained essentially as prisoners of war. Even were those allegations true — and the detainees never have had the opportunity to contest them through a due process hearing — and even if they provided justification for detaining these men originally, how do we justify continuing to detain them two decades later?

These men should be repatriated promptly unless it can be shown that doing so poses a serious and imminent risk to our national security.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin should be directed to appoint independent and impartial fact-finders (e.g., retired military judges, retired federal or state court judges or experienced members of the bar) to make that finding. 

And at long last, the Guantánamo prison, with justice, could be closed.”

https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/549584-closing-guantanamo-is-long-overdue


Recalling the first Guantanamo detainees

Extract “Now, it has been more than a year since a reporter set foot on that base, mostly because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the outpost has become more isolated than ever. Very few lawyers have visited the detainees, after undergoing a two-week quarantine, and a delegation of the International Red Cross has visited just once rather than four times a year.

Now we wait and wonder when, however belatedly, there will be a 9/11 trial. No new hearing dates have been set, and the case is once again awaiting a new military judge.

This has probably been the most secretive of all the years. The admiral in command of the prison took over in May 2019 and, unlike his predecessors, has never met a reporter there or permitted representatives of the media to visit the prison zone, which for years was a regular occurrence.

Back when the operation began, and the attacks of Sept. 11 were still a raw national trauma, the Marine general in charge could not always answer the reporters’ questions. But he understood our right to ask them, and did his best to answer.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/03/insider/first-guantanamo-prisoners.html


U.S. President Joe Biden intends to close the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. During a press briefing on Feb. 12, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed: “That’s certainly our goal and our intention.” ...She added that “they are undertaking a National Security Council process to assess the current state of play that the Biden administration has inherited from the previous administration, in line with our broader goal of closing Guantanamo.”........ The allegations that detainees were tortured have been confirmed by the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Human Rights Watch (HRW)....“Guantanamo is a place of arbitrariness and abuse, a site where torture and ill-treatment were rampant and remains institutionalized, where the rule of law is effectively suspended and where justice is denied,” a group of U.N. experts said on Jan. 11. They also urged the new U.S. administration to immediately close the "disgraceful" Guantanamo Bay. Amnesty International on Jan. 11 released a report on human rights violations at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The report stated that the U.S. has exposed detainees to “secret transfers, incommunicado interrogations, force feeding of hunger strikers, torture and enforced disappearance, unfair trial proceedings.” Former U.S. President Barack Obama once also said that “in the dark halls of Abu Ghraib and the detention cells of Guantanamo, we have compromised our most precious values.” However, the U.S. has not been investigated and held to account for crimes committed against detainees. About 40 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay

https://www.dailysabah.com/opinion/op-ed/will-joe-biden-close-guantanamo-bay


Biden launches review

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-biden-guantanamo/exclusive-biden-administration-launches-review-aimed-at-closing-guantanamo-prison-white-house-idUSKBN2AC1Q4


Amnesty press release

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/usa-president-biden-must-close-guantanamo-bay-end-20-years-human-rights-abuses


Amnesty report

https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/biden-and-congress-must-close-guantanamo-bay-detention-center-not-bring-new-charges-in-unlawful-military-commissions/


On Amnesty report

https://www.amnestyusa.org/reports/new-report-details-ongoing-human-rights-violations-at-guantanamo-bay-detention-facility/


Amnesty Report

https://www.amnestyusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/USA_-Right-the-Wrong_Decision-Time-on-Guantananmo.pdf


In-depth: The Biden administration has launched a formal review of the military prison camp, a controversial symbol of the excesses of America's 'war on terror.

Throughout his run for the presidency, Joe Biden made little mention of Guantanamo Bay. But as he completes his first month in office, there are signs that his administration is taking steps toward closing the post-9/11 detention centre. 

In a written testimony for his senate confirmation last month, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that it was time to close Guantanamo. On Friday, the White House announced that it was launching a review of the prison, with the aim of closing it.

"It's extremely important and absolutely necessary to have a change in policy. The US needs to reset its relations with the rest of the world, especially the Muslim world," Daphne Eviatar, director of security and human rights at Amnesty International USA.

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/indepth/2021/2/16/Can-Biden-fulfil-Obamas-promise-of-closing-Guantanamo-Bay

More here,

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/12/us/politics/biden-guantanamo-prison.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-biden-guantanamo-idUSKBN2AC1Q4


During his campaign, President-elect Joe Biden expressed his support for closing the prison, a pledge that was also made and left unfulfilled by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama. The 44th President of the United States faced great opposition from Congress but also made what has been described as "series of political maneuvers," including defending the military commissions system and tacitly approving a role for indefinite detention. This inhibited any efforts to shut down the Guantanamo apparatus. ...The hope is that the upcoming Democratic administration, if accompanied with a Congress that pledges to work with the President, will commit to this promise and finally shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay. The time is long overdue.

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2020/12/7/biden-must-do-what-obama-didnt-and-close-guantanamo


Bridge Initiative project published 4th Nov. 2020

Many discussions of the U.S. Guantánamo base focus solely on the role, legal rationale, costs, and management of the U.S. government. However, this project seeks to highlight the trauma inflicted upon those held at the prison and the larger ‘war on terror’ apparatus that has wielded Islamophobia to justify the illegal imprisonment 780 Muslim boys and men, many of whom were subject to torture

https://bridge.georgetown.edu/research/guantanamo-bay-data-project/


Ibrahim Othman Ibrahim Idris, a Sudanese man who was taken to the prison at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba on the day it opened as a suspected bodyguard of Osama bin Laden and who was then released by the Obama administration as too impaired to pose a threat to the United States, died on Wednesday in Port Sudan. He was 60. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/11/us/ibrahim-idris-dead.html


The Department of Defense has recently suspended its plan to administer coronavirus vaccines to detainees at Guantánamo, according to a statement by Pentagon press secretary John Kirby over the weekend. This reversal is concerning in several different respects, not least of which is the extent to which it appears to be bending to feigned outrage by some Republican politicians and commentators (none of whom appear to understand—or care to understand—any of the backstory). As a legal matter, the U.S. obligation to provide the vaccine to those detainees who want it is not a close call. It is required by the law of armed conflict .....

https://www.justsecurity.org/74470/why-guantanamo-detainees-should-have-access-to-covid-vaccines-law-of-armed-conflict-and-good-policy/

More here

https://www.justsecurity.org/74528/why-guantanamo-detainees-should-have-access-to-covid-vaccines-part-ii-federal-law-and-dod-policies/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9212535/Republican-lawmakers-introduce-resolution-opposing-vaccination-Guantanamo-detainees.html


That "tough order" became even more so when Couch found himself assigned to be a prosecutor for suspected terrorists being held at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp. Many of the suspects were being subjected to what American officials called "enhanced interrogation techniques." Couch called it "torture," and illegal, both under international and American law. "Call me idealistic, but I just believe that if we compromise our American values because we're dealing with this particular enemy that did this particular operation, then they've accomplished a lot more than the immediate battlefield success that they've had."

Couch was assigned the case of Mohamedou Ould Salahi. He'd been brought to Guantanamo from his home country of Mauritania. And he'd undergone what Couch believe to be against the laws the U.S. supposedly upheld.

"If you interrogate him on what we were doing at Guantanamo in certain cases, you're violating that. The law that we've abided by for generations through thick and thin. And I personally don't think there's any enemy out there that is worthy of us jettisoning that devotion to the rule of law that we have as Americans." Ultimately, Couch resigned from the case. That decision attracted wide media attention and further stoked the controversy over whether torture can ever be justified. A debate that still rages today. And now, the tale is hitting the silver screen. Jodie Foster has a pivotal role in the flick. So does Benedict Cumberbatch who portrays Stuart Couch.

https://news.wjct.org/post/former-guantanamo-prosecutor-address-fsu-classes



"I believe it is time for the detention facility at Guantanamo to close its doors,"Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin wrote in his written responses to Congress during his recent confirmation hearing. As a longtime advocate of closing the Guantanamo Bay prison, these are welcome words. But we can't just close Guantanamo, we need to abolish it. 

Abolishing Guantanamo means more than just closing the physical prison or transferring the 40 prisoners still detained. It will entail deconstructing the entire 'war on terror' paradigm, which treats terrorism as an exceptional form of violence that necessitates extraordinary interventions. ......

https://www.businessinsider.com/guantanamo-bay-prison-abolish-biden-bush-administration-war-terror-2021-2?r=US&IR=T



OPEN LETTER

At your inauguration, you told the world: “We will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era. We will rise to the occasion.” It is therefore our suggestion that the following steps are taken to close Guantánamo:

  1. All those cleared for release are immediately repatriated to their home countries, as long as they are safe from arbitrary imprisonment and persecution.
  2. The office for the special envoy is reopened and suitable countries are sought to restart the resettlement process for those unable to return to their homes.
  3. Appropriate measures are taken to ensure that former prisoners are granted the means to start a meaningful life in the new country and are afforded protections from violations of those measures by the receiving state.
  4. The concept of “forever prisoners” is rescinded, and those not facing charges under the military commissions are repatriated or resettled (as above) following appropriate security arrangements.
  5. Repatriation/resettlement should not take place by force, and prisoners are not resettled where they will face arbitrary imprisonment once again.
  6. Periodic Review Board reports should be superseded by the imperative to close Guantánamo and not obstruct the above measures.
  7. The military commissions should be scrapped, and those facing charges should have their cases tried in accordance with the law.
  8. Where appropriate and practicable, mechanisms are put in place whereby those convicted of crimes can serve their sentences closer to home.

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2021/01/29/an-open-letter-to-president-biden-about-guantanamo/



Lewis Amnesty group (UK) event 11th Jan 2021

http://amnestylewes.org/index.php/2021/01/05/mohamedou-11jan2021/




We call on President-elect Joe Biden to finally close Guantánamo Bay prison, as he has signaled that he wants to do. There are many good reasons to do so. https://www.gazettenet.com/Guest-column-Nancy-Talanian-38123799


Biden has said very little about his plans for Guantánamo, other than restating his intention to close it. His campaign put out a statement in June saying its existence “undermines American national security by fuelling terrorist recruitment and is at odds with our values as a country”.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/dec/13/guantanamos-last-inmates-detect-a-glimmer-of-hope-after-19-years-inside


In a rare development at the U.S. military court in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, a so-called "forever prisoner" who has been held there for more than 18 years despite never being criminally charged has been cleared for release. The Yemeni man in his mid-40s, known variously as Said Salih Said Nashir and Hani Saleh Rashid Abdullah, was accused of being an al-Qaeda operative. But Guantánamo's Periodic Review Board, which functions like a parole board, now says he is no longer a significant threat to the United States. He is only the second Guantánamo prisoner to be approved for release during the Trump administration, and the first during Trump's presidency to be cleared through this parole-like process. Nashir/Abdullah's lead attorney, Montana-based Charley Carpenter, called the decision "recognition, as we've always thought, that continued imprisonment of this man doesn't help the national security of the United States

https://www.npr.org/2020/12/11/945565473/u-s-clears-for-release-long-time-guantanamo-inmate-never-charged-with-a-crime


One solution under consideration, according to people familiar with internal deliberations, is to close Camp 7 and move the former C.I.A. prisoners to the main prison complex while still segregating them in a special housing unit, where they would be unable to communicate with the general population of 26 lower-level detainees........... Several other policy questions await the new administration, including how soon the State Department will resume negotiations to find secure arrangements for detainees who are approved for transfer to other countries, and whether to restore the Obama-era role of having a special envoy handle the task. Of the 40 prisoners currently at Guantánamo, nine have been charged with or convicted of war crimes, six have been recommended for transfer with security conditions in the receiving country, and the rest remain in indefinite detention, uncharged but deemed too dangerous to release. Under a process created during the Obama administration, those other 25 prisoners are entitled to periodic parole-like review by six national security agencies as a pathway to transfer to foreign prisons or rehabilitation programs, or resettlement in other nations with security agreements. But the Trump administration let that process stagnate.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/15/us/politics/guantanamo-biden.html



Film 'The Mauritanian': Despite everything, Slahi has kept his sense of humour and even keeps in touch with one of his guards, Macdonald said: “They’re great friends. They speak each week on Zoom.”

Foster said: “I was drawn in by the emotional story first, Mohamedou’s awful journey. It’s hard to imagine how a human could endure that, being taken from his home, blindfolded, imprisoned, subjected to years and years of psychological and physical abuse without any explanation whatsoever.”

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/jan/03/guantanamo-prisoner-the-mauritanian-mohamedou-ould-slahi

Review

https://www.indiewire.com/2021/01/tahar-rahim-oscar-race-the-mauritanian-1234607613/


There are a few options Biden could explore if Congress won’t budge. The first and easiest action is to cancel Trump’s executive order and reestablish closing Guantanamo as official U.S. policy. The next is to continue transferring detainees to other countries’ custody. Five detainees have already been recommended for transfer to their home countries by the Obama-era Periodic Review Board. One of them, Muieen Adeen al Sattar, is a stateless Rohingya, which could complicate efforts to find a nation to resettle him, but a solution can probably be found. Benjamin Farley, a lawyer for Guantanamo detainee Ammar al-Baluchi, suggests in a recent article for Just Security that three or four other detainees would probably have been recommended for transfer had the review process continued under Trump.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/12/will-biden-close-guantanamo-bay.html


Will Biden Close Guantanamo? Farley recommends that Biden could make more people eligible for transfer by giving new guidance to the review board. Currently the board is supposed to consider whether continued detention is necessary to “protect against a significant threat to the security of the United States,” but that still leaves a lot up for interpretation. He suggests a new guidance could make clear that “ ‘necessary’ means ‘unable to be accomplished without continued detention,’ ‘protect’ does not mean ‘prevent absolutely,’ and ‘significant threat’ means not just ‘some’ or ‘any threat’ but ‘a threat substantially greater than the ordinary threats posed by hostile individuals every day.’ ” Under the new guidance, a detainee’s age and length of detention could also be considered: The oldest detainee, 73-year-old Saifullah Paracha, a Pakistani businessman accused of providing financial support to al-Qaida, has been at Guantanamo for 16 years. The review board denied him transfer in 2016 in part because of his “refusal to take responsibility for his involvement with al-Qaida”—involvement he denies.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/12/will-biden-close-guantanamo-bay.html


The 19th anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp is this month — Extracts: "a fact that comes as a surprise to many people, says Sherrill Hogen, one of the organizers of a demonstration that will be held in Greenfield and Northampton on Monday. Demonstrators will gather on the Greenfield Common at 11 a.m., and then outside the Hampshire County Courthouse in Northampton at 1:30 p.m. In both cases, they will also walk along each city’s respective Main Street.....“Many people don’t even remember it exists,” Hogen said of the detention camp. “That’s why we’re protesting again this year in our local communities.”.....The camp was established in January 2002 as a military prison for people considered to be extraordinarily dangerous. Political appointees of President George Bush argued that the camp, which is in Cuba, could be considered beyond U.S. law — which was found to be incorrect in multiple cases heard by the Supreme Court.

Yet the camp has still been used to hold prisoners indefinitely without trial and has been criticized by human rights groups for its treatment of prisoners. President Barack Obama, at the start of his presidency, promised to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. But Congress opposed his view and passed laws with bipartisan support that effectively kept the camp in operation....."The Obama Administration did still reduce the scale of the operation, freeing most detainees and transferring them to other countries. President Donald Trump, in January 2018, made an executive order to keep the camp open indefinitely. There are now 40 people imprisoned there.".....“It’s not on people’s radar, and we need to keep it there,” Hogen said. “There are 40 human beings who are not being treated humanely. ... These are people who have not seen a family member or a friend for 19 years. If they were housed in a U.S. facility, at least there might be some possibility of that connection.” ..."Hogen has participated with a national group called Witness Against Torture, which typically organizes a large demonstration in Washington D.C. at this time of year. Because of the pandemic, she said that isn’t happening this year." ......."Demonstrations in Greenfield have appeared in past years, too. Some participants wear orange jumpsuits and black hoods, referring to the conditions of Guantanamo Bay prisoners, said Nancy Talanian, another organizer of the demonstrations. People passing by usually seem supportive, Talanian said. Pamphlets have been handed out at past demonstrations, but likely not this year to encourage social distancing."

https://www.gazettenet.com/Guantanamo-Bay-detention-camp-to-be-focus-of-demonstrations-in-Greenfield-Northampton-38195783


Serious health risks at Guantanamo: Extracts: "Muhammad Rahim has been confined to the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison for the last 12 years without charge. But now his lawyer and a rights body fear the Afghan is facing a potentially serious health risk. A medical examination carried out by Guantanamo’s Joint Task Force (JTF) in 2017 and on subsequent unknown dates have uncovered several “nodules” in his lung, liver, kidney and rib, raising fears of cancer.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/19/afghan-detainee-at-guantanamo-prison


9.12.20

Delegates from the International Committee of the Red Cross visiting Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic were unable to meet some of prisoners held there because restrictions imposed by the U.S. "military made it impossible for the two sides to converse, lawyers for the prisoners say. The delegation from the Red Cross, which seeks humane conditions for prisoners of war around the world, left the base Tuesday after a three-week visit that began with two weeks of quarantine, which the military requires of all visitors during the Covid-19 crisis."..."The Red Cross canceled two visits earlier this year because of the pandemic, depriving the prisoners of their only contact with an independent outside organization monitoring the conditions in which they are held."...." During the visits with detainees that began last week, the first by the organization since March, prisoners and Red Cross delegates were kept six feet apart in a meeting room, separated by a plexiglass barrier. Prisoners and delegates both wore a prison-issue hooded white biohazard jumpsuits and N95 respirators"...."Lawyers for several prisoners at the base’s classified compound, Camp 7, said one or two prisoners did meet with a Red Cross delegate but found that health protections imposed by the military made it impossible to hold a conversation. Soon after, the rest of the prisoners had their appointments canceled.

Elizabeth Gorman Shaw, a spokeswoman for the International Red Cross, which considers its conversations with both the prisoners and the military confidential, declined to discuss the problems that arose during the meetings, but said the delegation “conducted its quarterly visit to Guantánamo Bay to the best of its ability under Covid-related constraints.” The organization has visited the prison at least four times a year since it opened in January 2002 but canceled two quarterly visits this year because of the pandemic.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/09/us/politics/red-cross-guantanamo.html


Interview The Oath Matt Olsen: The Line, interviewed by Chuck Rosenberg

Interview extract: “Matt Olsen: Exactly. So, when the opportunity came along to work for him. Yeah, that was, that was fortunate for me......

Chuck Rosenberg: Matt, I know you had a number of jobs in the Justice Department in the National Security Division in different roles. You've worked on the staff of the Attorney General, Eric Holder, I wanted to ask you in particular, about that. And one of the assignments that you had for Mr. Holder, where he asked you to lead an interagency effort to review the status of individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay. That has to be one of the most difficult jobs, one of the most taxing jobs, and I imagine, in some ways, one of the most frustrating jobs in all of government, but I would love for you to talk about that.

Matt Olsen: I love talking about the time I spent working on that Guantanamo Review Task Force. Really 10 years ago, now, it ended. It--yes, it was all the things you described, but it was also incredibly fulfilling and fun, you know, hugely challenging, but look, I'd been in the National Security Division. The Obama administration came in day one executive order to basically review these cases, review the detainees at Guantanamo.

Chuck Rosenberg: So, our listeners should understand the context for this: when Barack Obama became president, one of his priorities was to close Guantanamo Bay. In fact, he wanted to close within a year.

Matt Olsen: That's right. The Executive Order really called for Guantanamo Bay to be closed within a year, which was a campaign commitment, and one that, you know, became a day one priority for the President. Think back on that time, when I was in the Department of Justice as the senior career person in the National Security Division. So, during that period of time, I was the Acting Assistant Attorney General, which is the tradition, right, the senior career person stays on as the acting head until a new confirmed appointee was to come on board. And I remember at the time having been in the necessary division, being familiar with the Guantanamo detainees, thinking, this is going to be really hard. I'm not sure that the team coming in off the campaign fully appreciates the challenges of Guantanamo or other national security challenges. That's kind of the nature of transitions, right? It's the nature of when a new president comes in and new leadership comes in, they've been campaigning, and they've been making commitments, but then they kind of run into some of the realities of, okay, here are some national security imperatives and here's some of the challenges we face. But having said that, I was fully on board with the goal. I had seen the problems that we faced with Guantanamo firsthand from the Justice Department's point of view.

Chuck Rosenberg: What were the problems we face to Guantanamo?

https://www.msnbc.com/podcast/transcript-matt-olsen-line-n1252993


Guantánamo Prisoners Sent to UAE Risk Forced Expulsion, Secret Detention: Given that Guantánamo remains open after almost 19 years, it is clear that both the Republicans and Democrats have a poor record on the treatment of the prisoners and a weak grip on human rights. While closing Guantánamo has not been an election issue since 2008, its continuing existence remains a stain on the U.S. In a year that has seen millions of U.S. residents receive little more than complacency from their government in the face of a global pandemic, and as millions file for unemployment and other basic benefits, the question of whose interests Guantánamo protects and at what cost needs to be raised. Demands for the closure of Guantánamo and the release of the remaining 40 prisoners must ensure that prisoners are released to safety and are genuinely set free.

https://truthout.org/articles/guantanamo-prisoners-sent-to-uae-risk-forced-expulsion-secret-detention/



5 Were Cleared to Leave Guantánamo. Then Trump Was Elected: While Mr. Biden has not said how he would proceed, former Obama administration officials described him as having been fully engaged as vice president in seeking to relocate prisoners and close the detention center. While serving under Mr. Obama, Mr. Biden would raise transfer requests in calls with foreign leaders and bring up the topic in face-to-face meetings, they said.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/09/us/politics/guantanamo-prisoners-trump.html



No charges, no justice: Why is this Afghan still in Guantanamo? The US refuses to release Muhammad Rahim al Afghani who has no charges over his head and could possibly be suffering from cancer.

https://www.trtworld.com/opinion/no-charges-no-justice-why-is-this-afghan-still-in-guantanamo-41132


Guantanamo population isn't growing, and prison shows no signs of closing: “......the most prominent mention of Guantanamo has been when former Vice President Joe Biden was asked about Obama’s failure to close the facility during a Democratic primary debate last year. Biden blamed Congress for thwarting Obama’s plans, saying “you have to have congressional authority to do it.” He also called the facility “an advertisement for creating terror.” The Biden campaign has said he still supports closing the facility. Eviatar said she expects he would close it “eventually,” but acknowledged he “may face some complications” and that it may be a lower priority given he will “have a lot on his plate” to start. She also said she expects Congress would repeal the ban on transferring detainees to the United States should Democrats win control of both chambers. “I think we'll definitely try to push a new administration on this,” Eviatar predicted. “I think there'll be a big push, especially because we're coming on the 20th anniversary of the prison, and I think that people might remember, ‘Oh my god, this prison is still open. People are still being held indefinitely without charge or trial. This is crazy.’”

https://thehill.com/policy/defense/522543-guantanamo-population-isnt-growing-and-prison-shows-no-signs-of-closing



UAE threatens to repatriate 18 former Guantánamo detainees to Yemen:

“Human rights group Reprieve has condemned the United Arab Emirates’ threat to forcibly repatriate 18 Yemeni former Guantánamo detainees - which has been confirmed by multiple sources who spoke to the Associated PressForced disappearance and torture are rife in Yemen, as the UN recently reported. Detainees’ families have told Reprieve that they fear for their loved ones’ lives should they be repatriated. Between 2015 and 2017, the US transferred 23 former Guantánamo detainees to the UAE for resettlement on the basis that they could not safely be repatriated to their home countries. These included 18 Yemeni nationals, four Afghans and a Russian.

https://www.scottishlegal.com/article/uae-threatens-to-repatriate-18-former-guantnamo-detainees-to-yemen


Guantánamo Bay Navy Base Raises Health Alert and Closes Facilities: The pandemic has caused the cancellation of what was expected to be a busy year of war crimes proceedings at Guantánamo. The last hearing was held in late February, in part because of the complication of trying to manage the quarantining of a planeload of court personnel who commute from across the United States to each hearing. A small team of workers from the Office of Military Commissions is expected to travel there Tuesday. No defense lawyers have visited the 40 wartime prisoners during the pandemic, although some have communicated through military-supervised video or telephone calls. The pandemic has also led the International Red Cross to cancel two regularly scheduled quarterly visits, contributing to the isolation of the outpost.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/10/us/politics/guantanamo-bay-health-alert.html


No one bothered’: Afghan mother waits for son held in Guantanamo: The US government “insisted that the Afghans should release 5,000 Taliban … and yet have not released the one no-value Afghan from Guantanamo,” Haroon’s lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, the founder of the legal non-profit Reprieve, told AFP.

“The thing he finds psychologically most difficult is that he’s a nobody and he’s randomly still there.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/19/afghan-mother-waits-for-son-stuck-in-guantanamo-bay-since-2006


UK role in US torture and kidnapping: Foreign Office refuses to help investigation into Britain's role in US torture and kidnappings.... THE Foreign Office has allegedly refused to help Scottish police with an investigation into British complicity in US torture and extraordinary rendition, drawing criticism from human rights groups today. Police Scotland have been investigating the potentially unlawful use of airports in CIA rendition flights since 2013, which saw suspects secretly detained and transferred to foreign interrogation sites where they were tortured. It is believed that airports, including Glasgow’s Prestwick, have been used as refuelling stops for such flights, including the rendition of Saifull Paracha, a 73-year-old still being held at Guantanamo Bay.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/foreign-office-refuses-to-help-scottish-police-probe-into-britain-role-in-us-torture-and-kidnappings


UK and torture: The overseas operations bill promises to end ‘vexatious’ prosecutions of soldiers, but it is far more sinister than that. The way in which the egregious overseas operations bill violates international law isn’t complex or arcane. It seeks to introduce what has been termed a “triple lock” against the prosecution of British soldiers acting overseas. This triple lock includes a presumption against prosecution, a five-year statute of limitations and the requirement of consent from the attorney general before any prosecution can be brought. It undermines international humanitarian law while shielding the government against what may be wholly deserving claims........The so-called triple lock will effectively introduce a statute of limitations for the offence of torture. Torture has been absolutely prohibited under international law since 1948 and is enshrined in legal instruments such as the UN convention against torture, and the Geneva conventions of 1949. Despite this prohibition, the government now seems prepared to try to amend those terms with the overseas operations bill.  Letter: The former head of the armed forces Field Marshal Charles Guthrie, the ex-defence secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind, and Dominic Grieve, a former attorney-general, last night sent a letter to Downing Street raising concerns about the overseas operations (Service Personnel and Veterens) Bill.

See letter here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/law-to-protect-soldiers-would-harm-reputation-of-uk-forces-xrh3npzx7

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/20/overseas-operations-bill-uk-government-bend-rules-torture-soldiers

More here:

Free pass to torture: An evidence session of parliament's Human Rights Committee heard that torture had originally been exempted from the government's Overseas Operations Bill, alongside sexual violence - but that ministers had removed the exemption from the final draft. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/government-british-troops-immunity-prosecution-human-rights-b674479.html


UK: 'dangerous' bill could allow MI5 and police to authorise torture and murder: Speaking in advance of the Committee and Report stage of the Bill in the House of Commons, Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said:

“This dangerous bill appears to give police and other government agencies legal licence to sign off on serious crimes - including torture and murder - without any apparent limit.

“The use of such disturbing measures is a real fear – we’ve seen it happen in Northern Ireland, when undercover agents in paramilitary organisations were allowed by their handlers to torture and kill innocent civilians so that they could keep their cover intact. 

“It is deeply shocking that such appalling acts could now be declared lawful for all purposes across the UK and overseas.

“MPs must amend the bill to ensure robust oversight of undercover agents and informants and rule out impunity for human rights abuses at home or abroad.”


Amnesty International calls for significant amendments to prevent government agencies being given apparent authority to sign off on permission slips to rape, torture and kill

Significant amendments to the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill are urgently needed to prevent government agents - including MI5, police agents and even sources for the Food Standards Authority - being given the power to authorise serious crimes including torture and murder with impunity, Amnesty International said, ahead of a parliamentary debate tomorrow (15 October). https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/uk-dangerous-bill-could-allow-mi5-and-police-authorise-torture-and-murder


Troops who commit crimes will escape justice under new Bill, MPs find: Parliamentary committee warns Overseas Operations Bill breaches Britain’s human rights obligations..... In a damning report on the Overseas Operations Bill, the joint committee on human rights said that the legislation breaches Britain’s human rights obligations and creates unjustified barriers to prosecutions.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/troops-who-commit-crimes-will-escape-justice-under-new-bill-mps-find


Spy ops & overseas operations bill - slide towards authoritarianism? Many human rights groups, including Amnesty International, Freedom From Torture, Liberty, and Rights Watch UK, strongly opposed this Bill on the grounds that it contravenes international humanitarian and human rights law.....A worrying pattern is emerging. The Overseas Operations Bill enshrines immunity for horrific crimes abroad while the other provides cover for state crimes committed against UK residents.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/f/we-must-oppose-governments-slide-towards-authoritarianism



"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