Closing Guantanamo

How the Law Failed at Guantánamo

16.7.21

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of a detailed article for the Atlantic about the failure of the law at Guantánamo by Benjamin Farley, an attorney with the defense team for Ammar al Baluchi, one of the five men accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks, who was also an adviser to the Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure from 2013 to 2017.

Former Military Commissions Prosecutor Calls for the Closure of Guantánamo

7.7.21

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of an op-ed in the Washington Post, calling for the closure of Guantánamo, written by Omar Ashmawy, a prosecutor in the only two military commission cases that proceeded to full trials — back in 2008. Ashmawy is hugely critical of the entire military commission process, and of Guantánamo as a whole, and calls for everyone who has not been charged to be freed, and for the handful of men facing trials to have those trials moved to federal courts on the US mainland.

On UN Torture Day, Please Remember the 40 Torture Victims Still Held at Guantánamo

26.6.21

On the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, marking the day, in 1987, when the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into effect, I ask you to remember the 40 torture victims still held at Guantánamo. 24 of them were specifically held and tortured in CIA “black sites,” but all 40 have, at Guantánamo, been held in what, in January, the UN described as “a place of arbitrariness and abuse, a site where torture and ill-treatment was rampant and remains institutionalized, where the rule of law is effectively suspended, and where justice is denied.”

Who Are the Two “Forever Prisoners” Approved for Release from Guantánamo by Periodic Review Boards?

23.6.21

The stories of Abdulsalam al-Hela and Sharqawi al-Hajj, the two Guantánamo prisoners approved for release last week by Periodic Review Boards, and what they tell us about how difficult it is for men designated as “forever prisoners,” held for nearly 20 years without charge or trial, to convince the US authorities that they do not pose a threat, and can be safely released.

Retired Admirals Urge Biden to Release Everyone at Guantánamo Not Charged With a Crime — 28 of the 40 Men Still Held

18.6.21

A cross-post, with my own introduction and detailed analysis, of an op-ed for the Nation by retired Rear Admirals Donald J. Guter and John Hutson, calling for the prisoners still held at Guantánamo who have not been charged with crimes to be freed — 28 men in total out of the 40 still held; eleven already approved for release (two just today), and 17 others, aptly described as “forever prisoners.”

Biden’s Slow Progress on Closing Guantánamo

13.6.21

My analysis of an NBC article last week that suggested that President Biden is “quietly” moving to “start closing Guantánamo ahead of the 20th anniversary of 9/11,” but that doesn’t live up to its promise, not least in its suggestion that Biden wants to begin releasing prisoners, but doesn’t yet want to re-establish the role of the Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure, even though it is impossible to work out how prisoners might be freed without the envoy’s assistance.

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.

Great News from Guantánamo As Three “Forever Prisoners,” Including 73-Year Old Saifullah Paracha, Are Approved for Release

19.5.21

My detailed report about some extremely encouraging news from Guantánamo: that three men, including the prison’s oldest inmate, Saifullah Paracha, have been approved for release from the prison by Periodic Review Boards, the high-level government review process established under President Obama.

Lee Wolosky, Former Envoy for Guantánamo Closure, Calls on President Biden to Close the Prison

14.5.21

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of a New York Times op-ed calling for the closure of Guantánamo by Lee Wolosky, who was the Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure from 2015-17 under President Obama, and whose words ought to carry weight with the Biden administration.

Radio: I Discuss the Prospects for Guantánamo’s Closure Under Joe Biden with Scott Horton

3.5.21

My most recent interview about Guantánamo, and the prospects for its closure under Joe Biden, with the indefatigable Scott Horton, who has conducted over 5,500 interviews since 2003, and who I have been talking to on a regular basis since 2007.

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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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