American torture

Held for 900 Days Since Being Approved for Release from Guantánamo: Sanad Al-Kazimi, a Yemeni Torture Victim

25.3.24

The ninth article in my ongoing series of ten articles about the 16 men approved for release from Guantánamo, noting how long they have been held since those decisions were taken, telling their stories, and tying publication of these articles into significant dates in their long ordeal. The articles are published alternately here and on the Close Guantánamo website, and this particular article focuses on the case of Sanad al-Kazimi, seized in the UAE in January 2003, and held in Emirati custody and CIA “black sites” until September 2004, when he was flown to Guantánamo, where he has been held ever since without charge or trial. He was finally approved for release in October 2021, after over 12 years of tortuously slow review processes that began under President Obama.

Video: Guantánamo at 22 – Mohamedou Ould Slahi, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin and Andy Worthington at New America

25.1.24

The video of, and my report about the powerful online panel discussion, hosted by the New America think-tank, marking the 22nd anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantánamo Bay on January 11, featuring former prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi, UN Rapporteur Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, and myself, moderated by New America’s Vice President, Peter Bergen.

Video: ‘The Legacy of the War on Terror – Guantánamo Bay’ at SOAS with Andy Worthington, Moazzam Begg and Mansoor Adayfi

4.12.23

Linking to a video of ‘The Legacy of the War on Terror: Guantánamo Bay’, a panel discussion at SOAS, in London, on November 21, 2023, featuring Andy Worthington, former prisoners Moazzam Begg and Mansoor Adayfi, and academic Deepa Govindarajan Driver.

Video and Report: The Incredibly Powerful “Close Guantánamo!” Event in the EU Parliament, September 28, 2023

1.10.23

My detailed report about, and the video of ‘Close Guantánamo!’, an extraordinary and hugely powerful three-hour event held at the EU Parliament on September 28, 2023, featuring nine speakers, including Mansoor Adayfi (on what was only his second trip to freedom since he finally got a passport earlier this year) and two other former prisoners, two lawyers, a UN Rapporteur, myself and others, hosted by the inspiring independent Irish MEPs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace. As the event highlighted, the priorities for anyone concerned with justice, and with bringing to an end Guantánamo’s vile existence, are to resettle 16 men still held who have been approved for release (for which the countries of EU can help), providing adequate medical care for everyone still held at the prison, reminding the US government that it continues to have an obligation to ensure the welfare of former prisoners, even after their release, and, eventually, seeking accountability for the crimes that the US government has committed, and still continues to commit at Guantánamo.

Despite 9/11 Accused Being Mentally “Unfit To Stand Trial,” Biden Refuses Plea Deal That Would Provide Mental Health Care, As Required By International Law

26.9.23

My analysis of the significance of a DoD Sanity Board’s assessment that Ramzi bin al-Shibh, one of five men accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks, who are caught up in seemingly endless pre-trial hearings in Guantánamo’s broken military commissions, is unfit to stand trial because he suffers from PTSD and psychosis. That assessment has been accepted by the military judge in the 9/11 case, but meanwhile President Biden has refused to accept conditions requested by the 9/11 co-accused in plea deals that have been ongoing for the last 18 months, since prosecutors finally recognized that the use of torture had made a successful trial untenable. The conditions include the lifelong provision of adequate physical and mental health care, which has not been provided at Guantánamo, and which, ironically, has contributed significantly to bin al-Shibh’s inability to stand trial.

Radio: I Discuss Guantánamo’s Discredited Torture Trials with Scott Horton

5.9.23

Linking to, and discussing my recent interview with Scott Horton about a recent damning ruling against the government by the trial judge, Col. Lanny Acosta, in the military commission case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, accused of being the mastermind of the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000. The ruling specifically prohibits the use of self-incriminating statements made by al-Nashiri to a so-called “clean team” of interrogators at Guantánamo after he had been held and tortured for nearly four years in CIA “black sites,” and Col. Acosta’s devastating conclusion was that al-Nashiri’s torture and “conditioning” in the “black sites” was so severe that he was incapable of delivering any kind of self-incriminating statement on a voluntary basis.

Video: I Discuss the Collapse of Guantánamo’s Military Commissions on “Unauthorized Disclosure” with Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek

31.8.23

Linking to, and discussing my recent interview about Guantánamo with Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek for their “Unauthorized Disclosure” podcast, including a discussion about the recent damning ruling against the government by Col. Lanny Acosta, the military judge in the case of “black site” torture victim Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Trial Judge Destroys Guantánamo’s Military Commissions, Rules That “Clean Team” Interrogations Cannot Undo the Effects of Torture

28.8.23

A long read featuring substantial excerpts from, and my detailed analysis of an absolutely devastating ruling against the US authorities in the military commission pre-trial hearings for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. A Saudi national held and tortured in CIA “black sites” for nearly four years before his transfer to Guantánamo in September 2006, al-Nashiri’s trial judge, Col. Lanny Acosta, Jr., has just refused to allow prosecutors to use self-incriminating statements al-Nashiri made to a “clean team” of interrogators four months after his arrival at Guantánamo, because, he has concluded, there is no way that he was acting freely, given the extent of the torture to which was subjected in the “black sites,” and the “conditioning” that accompanied it, requiring him to tell his interrogators what they wanted to hear, to prevent further torture.

“Forever Prisoner” Muhammad Rahim, the Last Afghan in Guantánamo, Eloquently Pleads For His Release

22.8.23

My report about a recent Periodic Review Board hearing in Guantánamo, not reported in the mainstream media, about Muhammed Rahim, the last Afghan in the prison, who delivered a heartfelt plea for his release. Despite claims that he was connected with Al-Qaeda, the US authorities have never provided any evidence to back up their claims.

After First Ever Guantánamo Visit, UN Rapporteur Finds Dehumanized, Traumatized Men Subjected to Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment That May Rise to the Level of Torture

30.6.23

The first of two articles about the devastating report about Guantánamo that was issued on June 26 by Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism, following her visit to Guantánamo in February, which was the first ever visit to the prison by a Special Rapporteur. Despite improvements in conditions under President Obama and President Biden, she concluded that the detention regime at the prison continues to represent “ongoing cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment”, and “may also meet the legal threshold for torture.”

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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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