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Asadullah Haroon Gul, a “No-Value Detainee,” and One of the Last Two Afghans in Guantánamo, Asks to Be Freed

22.4.20

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of an article in the Afghan media by Asadullah Haroon Gul, one of the last two Afghans in Guantánamo, looking at the cases of other Afghans mistakenly held, and urging his government to call for his release.

In the Midst of the Coronavirus Lockdown, Environmental Lessons from Extinction Rebellion, One Year On

19.4.20

One year ago, Extinction Rebellion activists (myself included) occupied several sites in central London, bringing traffic to a halt, in an environmental precursor to what the collapse of “business as usual” looks like under the coronavirus lockdown. How can we make sure that, as the crisis passes, we don’t simply return to the suicidally irresponsible culture that existed until just a month ago, which was speeding us towards environmental destruction.

The Coronavirus Lockdown, Hidden Suffering, and Delusions of a Rosy Future

15.4.20

In my latest article looking at the drastically changed coronavirus world, I flag up the dangers of the massive shift from employment to unemployment, call for rents to be written off for the duration of the crisis, and refer to a study in the journal Science to demonstrate that we need to be thinking about living with the coronavirus for years, and not just a few more months of lockdown.

Health Not Wealth: The World-Changing Lessons of the Coronavirus

9.4.20

100 days since the existence of the coronavirus was first announced to the world, I look at some of the many ways in which it has changed life forever – primarily by establishing that our societies’ obsession with corporate profits above all else has now been revealed as empty and worthless, when what truly matters is our health, and those who look after us. I also look at some of the many ways in which our economies, and our economic priorities, will need to change.

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.

Imagining a Post-Coronavirus World: Ending Ravenous Capitalism and Our Consumer-Driven Promiscuity

28.3.20

My latest thoughts on the coronavirus crisis, looking specifically at how it must change the way we operate forever – not only via the extinction of the cruise ship industry and the acceptance of a much-reduced airline industry, but also through a complete re-evaluation of capitalism and our own appetites. Some of this follows on from the demands of Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, but the virus has, in an unprecedented manner, thrown almost everything we thought was certain into doubt, presenting unparalleled opportunities for a new future in which we put the needs of the people and the planet before profit.

Uzair Paracha, Victim of Tortured Terrorism Lies, is Freed from US Jail; Why Is His Father Still at Guantánamo?

24.3.20

Good news for a change, as Uzair Paracha, convicted of terrorism-related charges in 2005, and given a 30-year sentence, has been freed and repatriated to Pakistan. In 2018, the judge who presided over his initial trial ordered a new trial after concluding that allowing the existing conviction to stand would be a “manifest injustice,” a decision based on serious doubts about the veracity of testimony against him that had been provided by prisoners at Guantánamo, previously held in CIA “black sites,” including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Sadly, although Uzair has been freed, his father, Saifullah, held on the basis of similar discredited testimony, is still held at Guantánamo, with no sign of when, if ever, he too will be freed.

Coronavirus: How Did 8,900 Deaths Worldwide Lead to the Complete Shutdown of the Global Economy?

18.3.20

As the UK economy grinds to a halt as a result of the coronavirus, I’m finding myself wondering how the almost complete collapse of the global economy can be seen as a proportionate response to a virus that has, to date, led to less than 8,900 deaths worldwide.

Judge Orders Chelsea Manning’s Release From Jail for Not Cooperating With WikiLeaks Grand Jury, But Won’t Waive $256,000 Fines

15.3.20

Some good news for a change, as a US judge orders the release from jail of whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who has been imprisoned for a year for refusing to cooperate with a Grand Jury investigation into WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. The judge, however, refused to waive the $256,000 that Manning was charged for refusing to cooperate with the investigation. I also draw parallels with the ongoing efforts in the UK to extradite Assange to the US to face espionage charges relating to WikiLeaks’ publication of the documents leaked by Manning.

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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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