Conditions at Guantanamo

Humanizing the Silenced and Maligned: Guantánamo Prisoner Art at CUNY Law School in New York

22.2.20

My report about a powerful new exhibition of Guantánamo prisoners’ artwork that has just opened at CUNY School of Law in New York, featuring the work of eleven current and former prisoners, including Khalid Qasim, whose work I saw at a earlier version of the exhibition last month, during my annual US trip to call for the closure of the prison on the anniversary of its opening.

Video: “Guantánamo in 2020: What is the Future of the Prison Camp after Eighteen Years?” at New America, Jan. 13, 2020

31.1.20

Here’s the video of the panel discussion about Guantánamo that I undertook at the New America think-tank in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 13, with the attorney Tom Wilner. I co-founded the “Close Guantánamo” campaign with Tom in 2012, and we’re grateful that New America has been hosting panel discussions about Guantánamo every year for many years. This year there was a real urgency and anger to our call for the prison to be closed, brought about by three years of Donald Trump effectively sealing the prison shut, even though holding people indefinitely without charge or trial is profoundly unacceptable.

Radio: Unauthorized Disclosure – I Discuss Guantánamo and Julian Assange with Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek

29.1.20

A link to – and my report about – my recent interview with Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek for their “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast, in which we discussed Guantánamo and my recent US trip to call for its closure, and the proposed extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Horribly Repressive: The Truth About Donald Trump’s Guantánamo

18.12.19

My discussion of a recent ABC News article highlighting, via attorney Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, repressive and culturally inadequate treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo by medical personnel this summer, which led to all of the “low-value detainees” — 24 men in total —refusing to engage with medical staff. The situation now appears to have been partly resolved, but prisoners continue, as ever, to be shackled when meeting with military personnel, even though they offer no threat to them whatsoever.

Trump’s Personal Prisoners at Guantánamo: The Five Men Cleared for Release But Still Held

21.11.19

Following up on an article in the Independent, I look at the cases of five men abandoned in Guantánamo by Donald Trump — men who were approved for release by high-level review processes under President Obama, but who weren’t freed before he left office, and who, to my mind, can now legitimately be considered the personal prisoners of Donald Trump.

Closing Guantánamo, the Democrats and the NDAA

5.11.19

My analysis, cross-posted from the Close Guantánamo website, of the significance – regarding Guantánamo – of Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives last November. Led by Rep. Adam Smith, Democrats, via the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), are trying to prevent Donald Trump from being able to bring new prisoners to Guantánamo, and are also trying to ease restrictions on the release of prisoners, and work towards the eventual closure of Guantánamo. The House and Senate versions of the NDAA are currently being consolidated.

14 Million Dollars Per Prisoner Per Year: The Absurd Cost of Guantánamo

24.9.19

Following up on a report about the outrageous cost of running the prison at Guantánamo Bay by Carol Rosenberg in the New York Times, in which I suggest that her figure of $13m per prisoner per year, based on figures for last year, is actually understated, and is, instead, $14m per prisoner per year. Such a waste of money, as well as being a legal, moral and ethical abomination.

18 Years After 9/11, the Endless Injustice of Guantánamo is Driving Prisoners to Suicidal Despair

11.9.19

On the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, one of the bitterest legacies of the “war on terror” that the Bush administration declared in response is Guantánamo, where the men held are sinking into despair under Donald Trump, including one man, Sharqawi Al Hajj, who, just last month, attempted suicide, cutting his wrists with a piece of glass while on a phone call with his lawyer. How long can this injustice continue?

Lawyers’ Fears for Guantánamo “Forever Prisoner” Sharqawi Al-Hajj “After Rapidly Declining Health and Suicidal Statements”

1.9.19

I report on disturbing news from the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), who explain that one of their Guantánamo clients, Sharqawi al-Hajj, a torture victim, “forever prisoner” and long-term hunger striker, “stated on a recent call with his attorney that he wanted to take his own life.”

2010 Guantánamo Military Report Expresses Concerns About Reliability of Intelligence from Prisoners with Mental Health Problems or on Mind-Altering Medication

8.7.19

Analyzing a 2010 DoD report into the use of medical records in interrogations at Guantánamo, as secured by “FOIA terrorist” Jason Leopold, seven years after he first requested it. Plus a history of what preceded this report, and some accounts by prisoners themselves, as compiled by former prisoner Omar Deghayes after his release in 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, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer (The State of London).
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