Guantanamo tribunals

Biden Frees First Prisoner from Guantánamo: Abdul Latif Nasser, Approved for Release Five Years Ago

19.7.21

Celebrating the good news that President Biden has finally released a prisoner from Guantánamo — Abdul Latif Nasser, approved for release five years ago. I also hope that the Moroccan authorities will not interfere with his freedom, and remind President Biden that he must follow up as soon as possible by releasing the ten other men still held who have also been approved for release.

UN Experts Condemn UAE Plans to Forcibly Repatriate Former Guantánamo Prisoner Ravil Mingazov to Russia, Where He Faces “Substantial Risk of Torture”

3.7.21

My response to UN human rights experts condemning the UAE for its proposal to forcibly repatriate Ravil Mingazov, a Russian sent to the UAE from Guantánamo in 2016, even though he faces “substantial risk of torture” in his home country. I call on the US government to respond by urgently appointing a Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure to intervene of Mingazov’s behalf — and also on behalf of 19 other men sent to the UAE from Guantánamo (18 Yemenis and an Afghan). All have been subjected to arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance since their resettlement, despite having been promised their freedom when they were first transferred.

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.

Biden’s Slow Progress on Closing Guantánamo

13.6.21

My analysis of an NBC article last week that suggested that President Biden is “quietly” moving to “start closing Guantánamo ahead of the 20th anniversary of 9/11,” but that doesn’t live up to its promise, not least in its suggestion that Biden wants to begin releasing prisoners, but doesn’t yet want to re-establish the role of the Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure, even though it is impossible to work out how prisoners might be freed without the envoy’s assistance.

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.

Close Guantánamo: Lawyers Decry Broken Military Commission System and Status of “Forever Prisoners” in Washington Post Op-Ed

16.1.21

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of a powerful op-ed in the Washington Post by two attorneys who represent “forever prisoner” Mohammed bin Lep, explaining how the military commission system is broken, and asking how the US government supposedly justifies holding some prisoners indefinitely without charge or trial because of “flimsy” and untested allegations that purport to prove that they pose a threat to the US.

In Trump’s Dying Days, Guantánamo Review Board Approves Yemeni Prisoner for Release

16.12.20

Responding to the good news that Said Nashir (aka Hani Abdullah), a Yemeni prisoner at Guantánamo, has been approved for release by a Periodic Review Board, the first such decision to take place under Donald Trump. Unfortunately, two other men had their ongoing imprisonment approved by PRBs, nearly three and four years after their last hearings took place. These are unacceptable delays, and it is to be hoped that Joe Biden will not only release Nashir (and five other men long cleared for release), but will also urgently overhaul the review process.

“A Big Black Stain That Provides No Benefit Whatsoever”: Lawyers Urge Joe Biden to Close Guantánamo

5.12.20

Following up on a recent Associated Press article, in which Ben Fox spoke to attorneys for some of the 40 men still held at Guantánamo, with their messages for Joe Biden about why he must close the prison, finishing the job that Barack Obama started but failed to complete, a policy that was shamefully discarded over the last four years by Donald Trump.

A Guantánamo Insider’s Detailed Proposal for How Joe Biden Can Finally Close the Prison

27.11.20

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of a detailed proposal for how Joe Biden can close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, written for Just Security by Benjamin Farley, currently a 9/11 trial attorney, and, from 2013-17, Senior Adviser to the Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure at the State Department.

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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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