Military Commissions

24 Senators Send a Letter to President Biden Urging Him to Close Guantánamo

20.4.21

An important letter from 24 Democratic Senators to President Biden, urging him to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, including, most significantly, a call to release all the prisoners who are not going to be charged with crimes. The signatories include Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

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.

Gen. Lloyd Austin, Biden’s Defense Secretary, Says it’s “Time for Guantánamo to Close its Doors,” as DoD Announces New Military Commission Charges

28.1.21

The latest news regarding Guantánamo under President Biden, as his defense secretary, Gen. Lloyd Austin, told the Senate in written testimony, “I believe it is time for the detention facility at Guantánamo to close its doors.” Sadly, however, at the same time a Pentagon official approved military commission charges against three “high-value detainees.”

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.

Joe Biden’s Guantánamo: New York Times Highlights Decaying Prison Cells and Broken Judicial System; Observer Notes Return of Hope

29.12.20

My assessment of two recent articles, in the New York Times and the Observer, about Joe Biden and Guantánamo, and what we might expect from the new administration regarding the decrepit state of Camp 7, reserved for the “high-value detainees”, the broken nature of the military commissions, and the need for action on releasing six men already approved for release, and the inappropriate imprisonment, without charge or trial, and with no end in sight, of numerous “low-value detainees.”

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 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.

Military Judge Rules That Terrorism Sentence at Guantánamo Can Be Reduced Because of CIA Torture

24.6.20

An important update from the military commissions at Guantánamo, normally a ‘Groundhog Day’ of broken justice, where a judge has ruled that Majid Khan, a “high-value detainee” who agreed to a plea deal in 2012, should be allowed to have his sentence reduced because of the torture he was subjected to in CIA “black sites.” This is the first time such a decision has been taken, and it is to be hoped that Khan will now be released before the previously agreed date of 2031.

Good News! Former Guantánamo Prisoners Released from UAE to Afghanistan

13.2.20

My report on the good news that three Afghan nationals and former Guantánamo prisoners, who were sent to the UAE in 2016-17, have been repatriated following a peace agreement negotiated between the Afghan government and former warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hesb-e Islami movement in 2016.

As Torture Rears Its Ugly Head at Guantánamo, Let’s Not Forget That the Entire Prison Must Be Closed

9.2.20

My report about the questioning, in pre-trial military commission hearings at Guantánamo, of CIA torture architect James Mitchell, and my hope that those paying attention to the hearings don’t forget that 40 men are still held at Guantánamo, and that all of them are fundamentally deprived of justice, and will be until the prison is closed for good.

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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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