Guantanamo

Video: I Discuss the Possible Closure of the Prison at Guantánamo Bay on RT America

22.7.21

Video of my interview with Scottie Nell Hughes on RT America, discussing the possible closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, following the first prisoner release under President Biden — of Abdul Latif Nasser, a Moroccan who was repatriated on Monday July 19.

Biden Frees First Prisoner from Guantánamo: Abdul Latif Nasser, Approved for Release Five Years Ago

19.7.21

Celebrating the good news that President Biden has finally released a prisoner from Guantánamo — Abdul Latif Nasser, approved for release five years ago. I also hope that the Moroccan authorities will not interfere with his freedom, and remind President Biden that he must follow up as soon as possible by releasing the ten other men still held who have also been approved for release.

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.

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.

The Bleak Legacy of Donald Rumsfeld: Guantánamo, Torture and Two Failed and Astonishingly Destructive Wars

1.7.21

With the death of former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, I take a close look at his dreadful legacy, involving the prison at Guantánamo Bay, the use of torture, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, and bemoan the fact that, unlikely though it is that any senior US official will ever be held accountable for their crimes against humanity committed in the “war on terror,” Rumsfeld’s death robs us, in his case, of even that slimmest sliver of hope.

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.

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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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