Life after Guantanamo

Video: The “Disrupt, Confront, and Close Guantánamo” 20th Anniversary Virtual Rally on Jan. 11, 2022

16.1.22

The second of a number of articles covering events marking the 20th anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantánamo Bay on Jan. 11, 2022 — a “Virtual Rally,” entitled, “Disrupt, Confront, and Close Guantánamo,” featuring numerous speakers, myself included, and also including moving videos of former prisoners, and the family of one of the 39 men still held.

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.

Video: I Discuss Resistance and Creativity at Guantánamo and the Plight of Former Prisoners with Mansoor Adayfi

16.12.21

The video of “Life After Guantánamo,” an online discussion between myself and former prisoner Mansoor Adayfi, hosted by the Justice for Muslims Collective, which took place last week, and was intended primarily as a fundraiser for Mansoor. We discussed resistance at Guantánamo, the deaths of prisoners, art classes, and how the “taint” of Guantánamo haunts former prisoners, and is an ongoing part of the dehumanization process established at the prison nearly 20 years ago. It is also an injustice that I hope to address through establishing a new organization aimed at removing the “enemy combatant” stigma, and, ultimately, holding the US to account for the fundamental lawlessness of Guantánamo.

Join Me on Dec. 9 for an Online Discussion About Guantánamo with Mansoor Adayfi, Author and Former Prisoner

6.12.21

Promoting my live interview, this Thursday, Dec. 9, on Zoom, with former Guantánamo prisoner and author Mansoor Adayfi, whose compelling memoir “Don’t Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantánamo” was published in August.

Former Guantánamo Prisoner Kidnapped in Yemen, Held at an Unknown Location

23.11.21

My report about the seemingly unending ordeal of former Guantánamo prisoner Abdulqadir al-Madhfari. Held at Guantánamo for 14 years, and then for another five years in the UAE (where he was supposed to be freed, but where his imprisonment continued), he was recently forcibly repatriated to Yemen, with eleven of his compatriots, but after just one week reunited with his family, who were alarmed at the decline in his mental health, he was seized by Houthi militia at a checkpoint in Sana’a, and is now being held incommunicado in an undisclosed location.

Reflections on ‘Guantánamo: 20 Years After,’ a Powerful Online Conference on Nov. 12 and 13

15.11.21

My report about ‘Guantánamo: 20 Years After’, the successful two-day international online conference hosted by the University of Brighton, which took place on November 12-13, 2021, and which I helped to organize with law lecturer and activist Sara Birch.

URGENT ACTION REQUIRED for Six Former Guantánamo Prisoners Repatriated to Yemen from the UAE

28.7.21

My report about disturbing news regarding six former Guantánamo prisoners who have been repatriated to Yemen from the UAE, where they had been arbitrarily detained in abusive conditions since their transfer from Guantánamo in 2015 and 2016. Although this sounds like a positive move, their safety cannot be guaranteed in war-torn Yemen, and I urge campaigners to call on the State Department to take urgent action to support them, and to guarantee their safety.

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.

How China Uses Guantánamo’s Former Uyghur Prisoners to Justify the Mass Imprisonment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province

27.5.21

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of a recent CNN article looking at how US support for the Chinese government’s assertion that the Uyghur prisoners held at Guantánamo were terrorists not only continues to dog the men released from the prison between 2006 and 2013, but has also reinforced the Chinese government’s rationale for its brutal and horrendous “re-education” camps in Xinjiang province, where at least a million Uyghurs have been detained arbitrarily and have been subjected to human rights abuses.

The Shameful Human Cost of Inertia at Joe Biden’s Guantánamo

13.4.21

84 days into Joe Biden’s presidency, I look at how his lack of prompt action regarding Guantánamo — in the first instance, by not reviving the Office of the Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure in the State Department — has left six men approved for release between 2009 and 2020 still languishing at the prison. It is also impacting on the lives of men already released, who, as under Donald Trump, have no one within the administration to communicate with when they face life-threatening problems, which, in the case of Lutfi bin Ali, a Tunisian, recently led to his death.

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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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