Saudis in Guantanamo

Mohammed Al-Qahtani: Will Severe Mental Illness Secure His Release from Guantánamo?

5.10.20

An update in the case of Guantánamo prisoner Mohammed al-Qahtani, who, notoriously, was subjected to torture at the prison in 2002 in relation to claims that he was the intended 20th hijacker for the 9/11 attacks. Al-Qahtani has long-standing severe mental health issues, exacerbated by his torture, and earlier this year the District Court ordered a mixed medical commission for him, to assess whether or not he should be returned to Saudi Arabia to receive appropriate treatment. The government appealed for a stay, but the good news is that now the appeals court, the D.C. Circuit Court, has refused to go along with the government’s wishes.

Judge Upholds Ruling Ordering Independent Medical Review for Tortured Guantánamo Prisoner Mohammed Al-Qahtani

20.8.20

Good news as a US judge upholds a ruling from March requiring the US government to allow a US doctor and two foreign doctors to assess the mental health of Mohammed al-Qahtani, a Saudi national who was subjected to a vile torture program at Guantánamo when he was suspected of being the intended 20th hijacker for the 9/11 attacks, even though the US authorities knew that he had serious pre-existing mental health issues.

Never Forget: The “Season of Death” at Guantánamo

10.6.20

Marking the anniversary of a sequence of deaths at Guantánamo that I have long described as the “season of death,” when, between May 30 and June 9, in 2006, 2007 and 2009, five prisoners died. They were all suicides, according to the authorities, but all five were long-term hunger strikers, who resisted the brutality and illegality of their confinement, and were not, therefore, obvious candidates for suicide, and many valid accounts have been put forward challenging the official stories.

US Judge Orders Independent Psychiatric Assessment of Tortured Guantánamo Prisoner Mohammed Al-Qahtani

13.3.20

In a historic US court ruling, District Judge Rosemary Collyer has ordered the US government to allow tortured Guantánamo prisoner Mohammed al-Qahtani, who has long-standing and profound mental health issues, to be assessed by “a mixed medical commission,” consisting of a US medical officer, and two doctors from a neutral country chosen by the International Committee of the Red Cross, to determine whether he should be returned to Saudi Arabia for treatment.

No Escape from Guantánamo: Former Child Prisoner Boycotts Broken Review Process, Calls It “Hopeless”

9.10.19

My analysis of the broken Periodic Review Board system at Guantánamo, a parole-type process introduced by President Obama, to assess whether or not prisoners regarded as “too dangerous to transfer but not feasible for prosecution” could be released. The PRBs recommended 38 prisoners for release under Obama, whilst approving the ongoing imprisonment without charge or trial of 26 others. Under Trump, however, the process has become meaningless, because not a single prisoner has been recommended for release, and, as a result, the prisoners are now boycotting the process, with the most recent example being Hassan bin Attash, a Saudi who was just 16 or 17 years old when he was seized in 2002, and who has now, shamefully, spent over half his life imprisoned without charge or trial.

13 Years Ago, Three Men Died at Guantánamo, Victims of a Brutal Regime of Lawlessness That Is Fundamentally Unchanged Today

9.6.19

On the 13th anniversary of three deaths at Guantánamo, contentiously described by the US authorities as suicides, I revisit that terrible night, remembering the men, and recalling the robust challenges that have been made over the years to the official narrative – that the men died by committing suicide.

Rare Words From Guantánamo, From “Forever Prisoner” Ghassan Al-Sharbi

4.4.19

A cross-post of an article in The Intercept drawing on letters sent by “forever prisoner” Ghassan al-Sharbi to his lawyers, criticising the Saudi royal family. The article also features my own detailed introduction, telling al-Sharbi’s story, his role as a respected prisoner amongst his fellow prisoners, the military commission charges against him (which were dropped), and his Obama-era reviews.

Remembering Guantánamo’s Dead, 12 Years After the Three Notorious Alleged Suicides of June 2006

10.6.18

Please support my work as a reader-funded journalist! I’m currently trying to raise $2500 (£2000) to support my writing and campaigning on Guantánamo and related issues over the next three months of the Trump administration.   Today, as we approach a terrible milestone in Guantánamo’s history — the 6,000th day of the prison’s existence, this […]

No Justice at Guantánamo: The Release of Ahmed Al-Darbi, and Moazzam Begg’s Reflections

27.5.18

Please support my work as a reader-funded journalist! I’m currently trying to raise $2500 (£2000) to support my writing and campaigning on Guantánamo and related issues over the next three months of the Trump administration.   At the start of this month, Donald Trump transferred his first prisoner out of Guantánamo, the Saudi citizen Ahmed […]

With Transfer of Ahmed Al-Darbi to Saudi Arabia, Guantánamo’s Population Drops to 40; No New Arrivals on Horizon

4.5.18

Please support my work as a reader-funded journalist! I’m currently trying to raise $2500 (£2000) to support my writing and campaigning on Guantánamo and related issues over the next three months of the Trump administration.   So there was good news on Wednesday, when the Pentagon announced that Ahmed al-Darbi, a Saudi citizen in Guantánamo, […]

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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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