My Six-Part Definitive Guantánamo Prisoner List: Updated for the First Time Since 2014


Andy Worthington and a poster for the We Stand With Shaker campaign at the protest against Guantanamo outside the White House on January 11, 2015, the 13th anniversary of the opening of the prison (Photo: Medea Benjamin for Andy Worthington).Please support my work! I’m currently trying to raise $2700 (£2000) to support my writing and campaigning on Guantánamo for the next three months.


I’m currently in the process of updating my six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, which I first created in March 2009, and have updated five times since — in January 2010, July 2010, May 2011, April 2012 and March 2014.

To date, I have updated Part 1 (covering ISN numbers 1-133), Part 2 (ISNs 134-268, including Shaker Aamer), and Part 3 (ISNs 269-496), and I will be completing the updates of Part 4 (ISNs 497-661), Part 5 (ISNs 662-928) and Part 6 (ISNs 929-10029) over the next few days.

This update to the definitive Guantánamo prisoner list — like so much of my work — is only possible with your support. I have no institutional or media backing for it, so if you can support me at all, please do. I’m currently still trying to raise $2700 (£2000) to support my work on Guantanamo for the rest of the year if you can help. Please click on the ‘Donate’ button above to make a donation via PayPal (and see here for further information).

The definitive prisoner list is a key element of my ongoing work (now in its eleventh year) calling for the closure of the US prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and telling the stories of the men held there. The first fruit of my initial research was my book The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison, in which I told the story of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, established, for the first time, a chronology explaining where and when the prisoners were seized, told the stories of around 450 of these prisoners, and provided a context for the circumstances in which the remainder of the prisoners were captured.

Since May 2007, I have written 2,000 articles about Guantánamo, expanding on and updating my initial work, providing research, analysis and commentary, as well as regularly campaigning to get the prison closed — particularly via the Close Guantánamo campaign I established in 2012 with the US attorney Tom Wilner, and We Stand With Shaker, established in 2014 with the activist Joanne MacInnes, which played a part in securing the release of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison.

Along the way, I have covered the stories of the 318 prisoners released from Guantánamo since June 2007 — 142 under George W. Bush and 176 under Barack Obama — in unprecedented depth. I have also covered the stories of the 30 prisoners charged in Guantánamo’s military commissions (although only eight men have been convicted, and only four of those convictions have so far survived the appeal process), and I also covered the men’s habeas corpus petitions in detail from 2008 to 2011, until they were disgracefully shut down by appeals court judges in Washington, D.C.

More recently, I have been assiduously covering the Periodic Review Boards, convened to assess the cases of 64 men who had not been approved for release or recommended for trials by an earlier review process, the Guantánamo Review Task Force. The first round of PRBs took place between November 2013 and September 2016, and, to date, have resulted in 33 men being approved for release (of whom 20 have been freed to date), while 23 others have had their ongoing imprisonment upheld. Eight decisions have yet to be taken.

As a result of my dedicated work over the last ten and a half years, this is the most comprehensive list ever published of the 779 prisoners who have been held at Guantánamo, providing details of the 708 prisoners who have been released (and the dates of their release), the nine men who have died, the one man transferred to the US mainland for a trial, and the 61 prisoners who are still held (including 20 men approved for release), as well as those designated for prosecution or ongoing imprisonment without charge or trial.

It is my hope, as it has been since I established this prisoner list seven years ago, that this project will provide an invaluable research tool for those seeking to understand how it came to pass that the government of the United States turned its back on domestic and international law, establishing torture as official US policy, and holding men without charge or trial neither as prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, nor as criminal suspects to be put forward for trial in a federal court, but as “illegal enemy combatants.”

I also hope that it provides a compelling explanation of how that same government, under the leadership of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, established a prison in which the overwhelming majority of those held — at least 93 percent of the 779 men and boys imprisoned in total — were either completely innocent people, seized as a result of dubious intelligence or sold for bounty payments, or Taliban foot soldiers, recruited to fight an inter-Muslim civil war that began long before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and that had nothing to do with al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or international terrorism.

And finally, as it looks likely that Guantánamo will remain open when President Obama leaves office, I hope that it also provides useful information for those still seeking to close Guantánamo, and to bring to an end this bleak chapter in American history.

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose debut album ‘Love and War’ and EP ‘Fighting Injustice’ are available here to download or on CD via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and the Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative, launched in January 2016), the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, and The Complete Guantánamo Files, an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

11 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    Here’s my latest article announcing the updates to my six-part definitive Guantanamo prisoner list that I’m currently undertaking. Parts 1-3 are complete, Parts 4-6 will be updated soon. The list contains links and references for all 779 men – and boys – held at Guantanamo since the prison opened in January 2002, linking to the 2,000 articles I’ve written over the last nine years dealing with their stories – including their release dates and information about the military commissions and the Periodic Review Boards. I hope you find it useful, and can support me with a donation if possible. This entire project has been undertaken without any institutional or media backing, so I rely on your support to enable me to keep working.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Rose Ann Bellotti wrote:

    Thank you, Andy.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    You’re most welcome, Rose. Thanks for noticing. Guantanamo seems to have drifted into a backwater again, as so often throughout its history, with not much interest in its fundamental lawlessness, or the men still held there. The government might be correct in its presumption that reducing the population to what it calls an “irreducible minimum” of people regarded as genuinely dangerous will make the continued imprisonment of these men somehow acceptable to the American public (to the extent that anyone really cares), but to those of us who are aware of its history and its meaning, this is completely unacceptable. 23 men are still held without charge or trial, despite having had parole-type reviews (the Periodic Review Boards), and ten others are embroiled in a trial system that is not fit for purpose (the military commissions). We have to keep fighting to get Guantanamo closed, and I hope my work helps the case, as, of course, those who are not aware of history are doomed to repeat its failures.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Jamal Ajouaou wrote:

    Give us a break will you close Guantánamo now enough stupidity.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Jamal. I wish the US establishment was listening.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Parts 1-4 are now updated.
    Part 4 (ISNs 497-661) is here:

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Just updated: Part 5, covering prisoners with the ISNs (prisoner numbers) 662 to 928, including former child prisoner Omar Khadr, my friend Omar Deghayes, the torture victim and best-selling author Mohamedou Ould Slahi, and Abu Wa’el Dhiab, the Syrian who fought in the US courts to have videos of his force-feeding released, and is now on a life-endangering hunger strike in Uruguay, where he was freed in December 2014:

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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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Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

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Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo


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