Pakistanis in Guantanamo

Majid Khan Describes Years of Torture and Abuse in CIA “Black Sites” and at Guantánamo in His Sentencing Statement (Part Two)

10.11.21

The second part of my transcript of the powerful statement that Guantánamo prisoner and CIA “black site” torture victim Majid Khan read out at his sentencing hearing, with its powerful combination of contrition, on the one hand, and the brutality of his torture on the other, which seemed to be undertaken with no regard for discovering the truth, as he had persistently showed a willingness to cooperate with his interrogators.

Majid Khan Describes Years of Torture and Abuse in CIA “Black Sites” and at Guantánamo in His Sentencing Statement (Part One)

9.11.21

A transcript of the first part of Majid Khan’s statement at his recent sentencing hearing at Guantánamo, in which he recounted his early life, how he was preyed on by al-Qaeda supporters following the death of his mother, and the horrendous torture to which he was subjected in a number of CIA “black sites”, despite having made it clear from the time of his capture that he intended to be as cooperative as possible.

Is This Justice? After 18 Years of Torture, Isolation and Unprecedented Co-Operation, CIA and Guantánamo Prisoner Majid Khan Should Be Released in Feb. 2022

1.11.21

My report about the sentencing of former CIA “black site” torture victim and Guantánamo prisoner Majid Khan, finally and belatedly following his plea deal in 2012, his powerful statement during his hearing, and the unprecedented request for clemency from seven of his eight military jurors.

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.

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.

As You Read This, Guantánamo Prisoner Ahmed Rabbani Has Been On A Hunger Strike for 2,846 Days

17.11.20

Reprieve has just launched a website counting, in real time, how long their client Ahmed Rabbani has been on a hunger strike — 2,846 days, as of Nov. 17, 2020. This is a shocking amount of time, as is Ahmed’s skeletal state — he weighs just 39 kilos, or 6 stone 2 pounds. I argue that it is time for Ahmed, like other “forever prisoners,” who genuinely don’t pose a threat to the US, to be released.

The Coronavirus and Guantánamo’s Extraordinarily Vulnerable Prison Population

1.4.20

As the coronavirus spreads around the globe with alarming speed, there are fears for the prisoners held at Guantánamo, especially after a US sailor tested positive for the virus last week. Along with my own thoughts, I cross-post an article published on Just Security by Scott Roehm, the Washington Director of the Center for Victims of Torture, pointing out that a number of the prisoners have serious underlying health problems, and calling for a number of appropriate responses from the Trump administration, beginning with letting the prisoners and their lawyers know what policies are in place to deal with the virus, and also including a call for Congress to allow prisoners to be transferred to the US mainland if they need urgent medical care.

Uzair Paracha, Victim of Tortured Terrorism Lies, is Freed from US Jail; Why Is His Father Still at Guantánamo?

24.3.20

Good news for a change, as Uzair Paracha, convicted of terrorism-related charges in 2005, and given a 30-year sentence, has been freed and repatriated to Pakistan. In 2018, the judge who presided over his initial trial ordered a new trial after concluding that allowing the existing conviction to stand would be a “manifest injustice,” a decision based on serious doubts about the veracity of testimony against him that had been provided by prisoners at Guantánamo, previously held in CIA “black sites,” including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Sadly, although Uzair has been freed, his father, Saifullah, held on the basis of similar discredited testimony, is still held at Guantánamo, with no sign of when, if ever, he too will be freed.

International Criminal Court Authorizes Investigation into War Crimes in Afghanistan, Including US Torture Program

5.3.20

My report on today’s great news that the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has approved an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan since May 2003 by US armed forces and members of the CIA, the Taliban and affiliated armed groups, and Afghan government forces, reversing a decision last year not to proceed with the investigation, which was widely perceived to have come about in response to pressure exerted by the Trump administration. Interestingly, although the US is not a party to the ICC Statute, the Court has jurisdiction over crimes committed by US actors in the territories of other State Parties to the ICC, and the investigation is, therefore, also empowered to look at crimes committed since July 2002 outside Afghanistan – at, for example, “black sites” in Poland, Romania and Lithuania.

Horribly Repressive: The Truth About Donald Trump’s Guantánamo

18.12.19

My discussion of a recent ABC News article highlighting, via attorney Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, repressive and culturally inadequate treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo by medical personnel this summer, which led to all of the “low-value detainees” — 24 men in total —refusing to engage with medical staff. The situation now appears to have been partly resolved, but prisoners continue, as ever, to be shackled when meeting with military personnel, even though they offer no threat to them whatsoever.

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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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