Afghans in Guantanamo

The Taliban’s Victory in Afghanistan Mustn’t Prevent the Closure of Guantánamo

30.8.21

As the right-wing media and Republicans focus on two former Guantánamo prisoners who hold leadership positions in the Taliban, and seek to infer that the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan somehow means that Guantánamo should remain open, I explain why this is nothing more than disgraceful propaganda, and urge President Biden to remain resolute when it comes to closing Guantánamo once and for all.

How the Disaster of Guantánamo Foretold US Defeat in Afghanistan

25.8.21

Reflecting on the US defeat in Afghanistan, as the Taliban once more control the country, I look at how, in Guantánamo and in the prison at Bagram Airbase, chronically poor intelligence, and the contempt for the rules regarding the detention of prisoners in wartime that was so typical of the “war on terror,” did so much to help the US lose the battle for “hearts and minds” in Afghanistan.

UN Experts Condemn UAE Plans to Forcibly Repatriate Former Guantánamo Prisoner Ravil Mingazov to Russia, Where He Faces “Substantial Risk of Torture”

3.7.21

My response to UN human rights experts condemning the UAE for its proposal to forcibly repatriate Ravil Mingazov, a Russian sent to the UAE from Guantánamo in 2016, even though he faces “substantial risk of torture” in his home country. I call on the US government to respond by urgently appointing a Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure to intervene of Mingazov’s behalf — and also on behalf of 19 other men sent to the UAE from Guantánamo (18 Yemenis and an Afghan). All have been subjected to arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance since their resettlement, despite having been promised their freedom when they were first transferred.

Fighting Guantánamo in the Courts Under President Biden

3.6.21

A detailed examination of the current Guantánamo cases before the US courts, some involving a long-running struggle for due process rights, others involving the imminent end to the war in Afghanistan, and another involving severe mental health issues. There are glimmers of hope in the litigation, but it already seems clear that the Biden administration is intent on resisting judicial interference when it comes to Guantánamo, and is more interested in making decisions about whether or not to release prisoners through the purely administrative Periodic Review Board process, which, just last month, approved three long-standing “forever prisoners” for release.

Afghan Government Calls for Release of Guantánamo “Forever Prisoner” Asadullah Haroon Gul

7.3.21

My report on the news that the Afghan government has submitted an amicus brief to a US court in the case of Asadullah Haroon Gul, one of the last two Afghans in Guantánamo, arguing for his long-overdue release. Of the 40 men still held, Gul is one of 22 identified as “forever prisoners,” because of their ongoing and thoroughly unjustifiable imprisonment without charge or trial.

After Years in Secret Prisons, UAE Threatens Unsafe Repatriations to Yemen for Former Guantánamo Prisoners

24.10.20

Sad news via the United Nations and the Associated Press, updating the story of 18 Yemenis sent to the United Arab Emirates between 2015 and 2017, after being unanimously approved for release from Guantánamo by high-level US government review processes. Promised new lives, they — and a handful of other ex-prisoners, including some Afghans and Guantánamo’s last Russian prisoner — found themselves imprisoned in abusive conditions instead, and, adding insult to injury, the Yemenis are now being threatened with repatriation to Yemen, where their lives are at risk.

Asadullah Haroon Gul: The Hunger Striking Afghan Forgotten at Guantánamo

20.10.20

An update in the story of Asadullah Haroon Gul, a genuinely insignificant prisoner, and one of the last two Afghans at Guantánamo, who has been on a hunger strike for five months, and weighs just 110 pounds. AFP recently visited his family in the refugee camp where they live, in north western Pakistan.

“I Can’t Breathe”: Afghan Prisoner Asadullah Haroon Gul on Black Lives Matter and Violent Oppression in Guantánamo

8.7.20

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of an article about Black Lives Matter and Guantánamo, published in Newsweek and written by the Afghan prisoner Asadullah Haroon Gul, one of the last prisoners to arrive at Guantánamo, in 2007. Gul has never been charged with a crime, and seems to be a case of mistaken identity.

Radio: I Discuss the Coronavirus Changing the World Irrevocably, Plus Guantánamo and WikiLeaks, with Chris Cook on Gorilla Radio

4.5.20

A link to – and my discussion of – an hour-long interview I recently undertook with Chris Cook in Canada for his Gorilla Radio show. We discussed Guantánamo, the ninth anniversary of WikiLeaks’ release of classified military files relating to the Guantánamo prisoners (on which I worked as media partner), the coronavirus, and how it has changed the world to an extraordinary extent (with both positive and negative repercussions), and my photo-journalism project, ‘The State of London.’ Chris also played ‘This Time We Win’, an eco-anthem that is the new single by my band The Four Fathers.

Asadullah Haroon Gul, a “No-Value Detainee,” and One of the Last Two Afghans in Guantánamo, Asks to Be Freed

22.4.20

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of an article in the Afghan media by Asadullah Haroon Gul, one of the last two Afghans in Guantánamo, looking at the cases of other Afghans mistakenly held, and urging his government to call for his release.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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