Conditions at Guantanamo

The 16th Anniversary of the Implausible “Triple Suicide” at Guantánamo

10.6.22

I mark the 16th anniversary of the deaths of three men at Guantánamo, and revisit the implausibility of the official narrative, which is that they committed suicide. This is an act of remembrance that I engage in every year, and this year I include new information about the events of that particular night that was provided by former prisoner Mansoor Adayfi in his memoir ‘Don’t Forget Us Here,’ published last summer.

69 Senators and Representatives Urge Congress to Lift Restrictions on Transferring Guantánamo Prisoners to the US Mainland

8.6.22

Posting the letter sent by 69 lawmakers to the chairs of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee, urging them to drop the ban on sending Guantánamo prisoners to the US mainland for any reason (even for urgent medical treatment) in next year’s National Defense Authorization Act – plus my account of the shameful 12-year history of the obstacles raised by Republicans regarding Guantánamo in successive versions of the NDAA.

Mentally Ill Torture Victim Mohammed Al-Qahtani Approved for Release from Guantánamo

8.2.22

My report about the latest welcome news from Guantánamo: the decision by a Periodic Review Board to approve the release of Mohammed al-Qahtani, who suffers from schizophrenia, which pre-dates his capture and arrival at Guantánamo in 2002. Despite this, the US authorities tortured him over the course of several months, in 2002-03, after discovering that he was apparently the intended 20th hijacker for the 9/11 attacks. Finally, however, the authorities have recognized that his mental health issues are so profound that he cannot be adequately treated at Guantánamo, and have accepted the need for him to be repatriated to Saudi Arabia where he can receive proper treatment.

“Forever Prisoner” at Guantánamo: The Shameful Ongoing Imprisonment of Khaled Qassim

25.1.22

Following up on the good news that five prisoners at Guantánamo were recently approved for release by Periodic Review Boards, I contrast that story with the monstrous plight of another prisoner, Khaled Qassim, who has been held for nearly 20 years without charge or trial, and who recently had his ongoing imprisonment without charge or trial approved by a PRB, on the basis that he is not compliant enough, even though the authorities acknowledged that, prior to his capture, he had a “low level of training” and a “lack of leadership in al Qaida or the Taliban.”

Videos of ‘Guantánamo: 20 Years After’, the Brighton University Online Conference on Nov. 12-13, 2021

30.12.21

Videos from ‘Guantánamo: 20 Years After’, the online conference, hosted by the University of Brighton, which took place on Nov. 12-13, 2021, and which I helped to organize. I was also a keynote speaker, along with former prisoner Shaker Aamer. Included here are videos of the keynote speeches, a presentation by Jeremy Varon of Witness Against Torture, and the conference’s three panel discussions.

Majid Khan Describes Years of Torture and Abuse in CIA “Black Sites” and at Guantánamo in His Sentencing Statement (Part Two)

10.11.21

The second part of my transcript of the powerful statement that Guantánamo prisoner and CIA “black site” torture victim Majid Khan read out at his sentencing hearing, with its powerful combination of contrition, on the one hand, and the brutality of his torture on the other, which seemed to be undertaken with no regard for discovering the truth, as he had persistently showed a willingness to cooperate with his interrogators.

Mansoor Adayfi’s “Don’t Forget Us Here”: A Devastating Account of Guantánamo’s Cruelty, But One Suffused with Hope, Humor and Humanity

18.8.21

My review of “Don’t Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantánamo,” former prisoner Mansoor Adayfi’s riveting account of his 14 years in the prison, much of which was spent in fierce resistance to the injustice and brutality of everyday life in this fundamentally lawless facility. While the subject matter is bleak, Mansoor somehow never loses touch with his hope, his sense of humor and his humanity.

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.”

US Military Closes Camp 7, Guantánamo’s “High-Value Detainee” Prison Block, Moves Men to Camp 5

5.4.21

Here’s my report on the US military’s announcement that it has closed the secretive Camp 7 at Guantánamo, where the so-called “high-value detainees” were held, and has moved them to Camp 5 instead. Camp 7 had been falling apart for years, but moving these men is no solution to Guantánamo’s larger problems: that the men held there should either be tried via a functional judicial system, or released.

111 Organizations, Including Close Guantánamo, Sign A Letter to President Biden Urging Him to Close the Prison and End Indefinite Detention

4.2.21

A letter to President Biden, urging him to close Guantánamo, and to end indefinite detention without charge or trial, signed by 111 organizations, including Close Guantanamo, which I co-founded nine years ago with the US attorney Tom Wilner.

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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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