Guantanamo lawyers

Yemeni Torture Victim and Insignificant Afghan Approved for Release from Guantánamo by Periodic Review Boards

16.10.21

My report on the latest news from Guantánamo: that two more men have been approved for release by Periodic Review Boards, bringing to 13 the number of men still held who the US no longer wants to hold, which is one-third of the prison’s current population.

Torture Victim Ahmed Rabbani, A Case of Mistaken Identity, Approved for Release from Guantánamo

14.10.21

Good news from Guantánamo, as torture victim Ahmed Rabbani, held in CIA “black sites” for 18 months from 2002 to 2004, and at Guantánamo, without charge or trial since September 2004, is approved for release from the prison via a Periodic Review Board, a parole-type system set up by President Obama in 2013.

Never-Ending Injustice: State Secrets and the Torture of Abu Zubaydah

10.10.21

My report about this week’s Supreme Court hearing in the case of torture victim and Guantánamo prisoner Abu Zubaydah, involving efforts by his lawyers to secure testimony from his torturers regarding what happened to him Poland. In oral argument, however, what emerged most forcefully was the Justices’ surprise that Abu Zubaydah himself has not been allowed to testify about what happened to him, and that he has had a habeas corpus petition pending for 14 years, as well as their concern that he is still being held at all, given the end of the war in Afghanistan.

The Enemy Within: How the US Justice Department Has Spent 19 Years Defending Arbitrary Detention at Guantánamo

5.10.21

My analysis of the significance of last week’s full en banc hearing, in the Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., in Al-Hela v. Biden, a case focused on whether the prisoners at Guantánamo have due process rights (a question that shouldn’t need asking after nearly 20 years), highlighting the obstructive role played by the Justice Department throughout the prison’s long history.

The Taliban’s Victory in Afghanistan Mustn’t Prevent the Closure of Guantánamo

30.8.21

As the right-wing media and Republicans focus on two former Guantánamo prisoners who hold leadership positions in the Taliban, and seek to infer that the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan somehow means that Guantánamo should remain open, I explain why this is nothing more than disgraceful propaganda, and urge President Biden to remain resolute when it comes to closing Guantánamo once and for all.

How the Law Failed at Guantánamo

16.7.21

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of a detailed article for the Atlantic about the failure of the law at Guantánamo by Benjamin Farley, an attorney with the defense team for Ammar al Baluchi, one of the five men accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks, who was also an adviser to the Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure from 2013 to 2017.

Former Military Commissions Prosecutor Calls for the Closure of Guantánamo

7.7.21

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of an op-ed in the Washington Post, calling for the closure of Guantánamo, written by Omar Ashmawy, a prosecutor in the only two military commission cases that proceeded to full trials — back in 2008. Ashmawy is hugely critical of the entire military commission process, and of Guantánamo as a whole, and calls for everyone who has not been charged to be freed, and for the handful of men facing trials to have those trials moved to federal courts on the US mainland.

Who Are the Two “Forever Prisoners” Approved for Release from Guantánamo by Periodic Review Boards?

23.6.21

The stories of Abdulsalam al-Hela and Sharqawi al-Hajj, the two Guantánamo prisoners approved for release last week by Periodic Review Boards, and what they tell us about how difficult it is for men designated as “forever prisoners,” held for nearly 20 years without charge or trial, to convince the US authorities that they do not pose a threat, and can be safely released.

Fighting Guantánamo in the Courts Under President Biden

3.6.21

A detailed examination of the current Guantánamo cases before the US courts, some involving a long-running struggle for due process rights, others involving the imminent end to the war in Afghanistan, and another involving severe mental health issues. There are glimmers of hope in the litigation, but it already seems clear that the Biden administration is intent on resisting judicial interference when it comes to Guantánamo, and is more interested in making decisions about whether or not to release prisoners through the purely administrative Periodic Review Board process, which, just last month, approved three long-standing “forever prisoners” for release.

Great News from Guantánamo As Three “Forever Prisoners,” Including 73-Year Old Saifullah Paracha, Are Approved for Release

19.5.21

My detailed report about some extremely encouraging news from Guantánamo: that three men, including the prison’s oldest inmate, Saifullah Paracha, have been approved for release from the prison by Periodic Review Boards, the high-level government review process established under President Obama.

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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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