Guantanamo and habeas corpus

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


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.”

UN Condemns 21-Year Imprisonment of Abu Zubaydah as Arbitrary Detention and Suggests that Guantánamo’s Detention System “May Constitute Crimes Against Humanity”


My report about what I describe as “the single most devastating condemnation by an international body that has ever been issued with regard to the US’s detention policies in the ‘war on terror’, both in CIA ‘black sites’ and at Guantánamo” — an opinion issued by the the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention about Abu Zubaydah, the first victim of the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program. The condemnation is not only of the US government, but also the governments of Pakistan, Thailand, Poland, Morocco, Lithuania, Afghanistan and the UK, although the most severe criticisms are directed at the US government, which is ordered to release him and to pay him compensation. The Working Group also expresses “grave concern” that the very basis of the detention system at Guantánamo — involving “widespread or systematic imprisonment or other severe deprivation of liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law” — “may constitute crimes against humanity.”

The Man They Never Knew: Said Bakush Is Repatriated from Guantánamo to Algeria; 30 Men Now Remain, 16 Also Approved for Release


My report about the release from Guantánamo of Said Bakush, the last Algerian in the prison, who was held for nearly 21 years without charge or trial. Bakush, as I have reported previously, was misidentified by the US military, who used a photo that purported to be of him, but was not him at all, and he was also analyzed as suffering from PTSD by a psychologist contacted by his attorney, Candace Gorman, who continued to work on his behalf, even though he has not seen her since 2016, because he became so depressed about his predicament.

Guantánamo and the U.S. Courts: When Is A War Not Over? Apparently, When It’s the “War on Terror”


An exclusive article about the latest court hearing in the case of Khalid Qassim, a Yemeni prisoner in Guantánamo whose lawyers are seeking to persuade a judge to order his release on the basis that, as someone seized after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan as a soldier, with no connection to terrorism, he must be released now that the war in Afghanistan is definitively over. The case was heard in December, in the District Court in Washington, D.C., before Senior Judge Thomas Hogan, and was argued by Tom Wilner, who was Counsel of Record to the Guantánamo prisoners in their Supreme Court cases establishing their right to habeas corpus in 2004 and 2008.

Video: Moazzam Begg, Anas Altikriti and I Discuss ‘Guantánamo: 21 Years On’ on Al Hiwar TV’s New Show, ‘The London Circle’


The video – with my introduction – of ‘Guantánamo: 21 Years On’, the very first episode of a new English language show, ‘The London Circle’, broadcast by the Arabic news channel Al Hiwar TV, featuring Moazzam Begg and I in discussion with Anas Altikriti.

Somali Prisoner at Guantánamo, Approved for Release a Year Ago, Calls on a US Court to Act on His Case


My report about Guled Hassan Duran, a Somali prisoner in Guantánamo who has worrying health problems, and whose lawyers have just asked a US court to revisit his long-stalled habeas corpus petition, and to order his release, a year since he was approved for release by a Periodic Review Board.

Guantánamo: My Definitive Six-Part Prisoner List Updated for 2022, With Links to My 2,500 Articles Since 2007


Introducing an update to my six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, which I first put together in 2009, listing the 779 men held at the prison since it opened on January 11, 2002, and which links to my articles about the prisoners, drawing on the 2,500 articles I’ve written about Guantánamo since 2007. I’ve updated it several times since 2009, most recently in 2018, and this latest update adds links to all the articles I’ve written over the last four years.

The US Government’s Entirely Predictable Problems with Resettling Guantánamo Prisoner Majid Khan


Looking at the problems faced by the US government in finding a third country prepared to offer a new home to Guantánamo prisoner Majid Khan, whose sentence for involvement in terrorism ended on March 1 this year. Khan is thoroughly repentant about his actions, and has cooperated with the authorities on other terrorism-related cases, but it remains uncertain whether another country can be found that will take him in. As a cooperating witness, he should, it seems to me, be resettled with his family under a new identity in the US, but that is currently illegal under provisions in the annual National Defense Authorization Act introduced by Republicans during the Obama presidency, and maintained ever since.

Afghan Prisoner Asadullah Haroon Gul Freed From Guantánamo, Where 36 Men Now Remain, 20 Approved For Release


Celebrating the latest release from Guantánamo — of Asadullah Haroon Gul, an Afghan held without charge or trial since 2007, who was approved for release last year by a Periodic Review Board, and who also had his ongoing imprisonment judged as unlawful by a District Court judge reviewing his habeas corpus petition.

As Majid Khan Asks a Court to Order His Release from Guantánamo, 100 Days Since Completing His Sentence, 20 Other Prisoners, Never Charged or Tried, Also Await Their Freedom


The latest news in the case of Guantánamo prisoner Majid Khan, who has submitted a habeas corpus petition seeking his release, 100 days since his sentence for involvement with terrorism ended. While Khan should have the law on his side, I also compare his case to that of the 20 other men approved for release by administrative review processes, but also still held, for whom, shamefully, no legal mechanism at all exists to compel their release.

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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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