Guantanamo lawyers

A Coronavirus Lament by Guantánamo Prisoner Asadullah Haroon Gul

5.4.20

Following the news that a sailor stationed at Guantánamo has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and is in isolation, here’s a cross-post, with my own introduction, of reflections on the news by Asadullah Haroon Gul, an Afghan “forever prisoner,” who is still held despite there being no compelling reason for his ongoing imprisonment, and who fears for the health of more vulnerable prisoners, like Saifullah Paracha, Guantánamo’s oldest prisoner, who has had a number of heart attacks.

The Coronavirus and Guantánamo’s Extraordinarily Vulnerable Prison Population

1.4.20

As the coronavirus spreads around the globe with alarming speed, there are fears for the prisoners held at Guantánamo, especially after a US sailor tested positive for the virus last week. Along with my own thoughts, I cross-post an article published on Just Security by Scott Roehm, the Washington Director of the Center for Victims of Torture, pointing out that a number of the prisoners have serious underlying health problems, and calling for a number of appropriate responses from the Trump administration, beginning with letting the prisoners and their lawyers know what policies are in place to deal with the virus, and also including a call for Congress to allow prisoners to be transferred to the US mainland if they need urgent medical care.

International Criminal Court Authorizes Investigation into War Crimes in Afghanistan, Including US Torture Program

5.3.20

My report on today’s great news that the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has approved an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan since May 2003 by US armed forces and members of the CIA, the Taliban and affiliated armed groups, and Afghan government forces, reversing a decision last year not to proceed with the investigation, which was widely perceived to have come about in response to pressure exerted by the Trump administration. Interestingly, although the US is not a party to the ICC Statute, the Court has jurisdiction over crimes committed by US actors in the territories of other State Parties to the ICC, and the investigation is, therefore, also empowered to look at crimes committed since July 2002 outside Afghanistan – at, for example, “black sites” in Poland, Romania and Lithuania.

Photos and Report: The Launch of “Guantánamo [Un]Censored: Art from Inside the Prison” at CUNY School of Law in New York

26.2.20

A second article about the launch of – and significance of – “Guantánamo [Un]Censored: Art from Inside the Prison,” an exhibition of Guantánamo prisoners’ artwork at CUNY School of Law in New York.

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.

As Torture Rears Its Ugly Head at Guantánamo, Let’s Not Forget That the Entire Prison Must Be Closed

9.2.20

My report about the questioning, in pre-trial military commission hearings at Guantánamo, of CIA torture architect James Mitchell, and my hope that those paying attention to the hearings don’t forget that 40 men are still held at Guantánamo, and that all of them are fundamentally deprived of justice, and will be until the prison is closed for good.

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.

Video: Attorney Shelby Sullivan-Bennis and I Bring the Sorrow, Injustice and Cruelty of Guantánamo to Life at Revolution Books in New York

21.1.20

My report about – and link to the video of – my speaking event about Guantánamo at Revolution Books in New York on January 16, where I was honored to be joined by Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, who represents a number of the men still held at Guantánamo, and who delivered harrowing frontline tales of what it is like inside the prison as its existence is cruelly and pointlessly maintained by Donald Trump.

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.

As “The Report,” About the CIA Torture Program, Is Released Online, Guantánamo Prisoner Ahmed Rabbani Urges People to Watch It

26.11.19

With “The Report,” about the Senate report into the CIA torture program, released on Amazon Prime on November 29, here’s a cross-post, with my own commentary, of an op-ed in USA Today by torture victim and Guantánamo prisoner Ahmed Rabbani.

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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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