Yemenis in Guantanamo

After Years in Secret Prisons, UAE Threatens Unsafe Repatriations to Yemen for Former Guantánamo Prisoners

24.10.20

Sad news via the United Nations and the Associated Press, updating the story of 18 Yemenis sent to the United Arab Emirates between 2015 and 2017, after being unanimously approved for release from Guantánamo by high-level US government review processes. Promised new lives, they — and a handful of other ex-prisoners, including some Afghans and Guantánamo’s last Russian prisoner — found themselves imprisoned in abusive conditions instead, and, adding insult to injury, the Yemenis are now being threatened with repatriation to Yemen, where their lives are at risk.

Trump-Appointed Appeals Court Judge Rules That Guantánamo Prisoners Don’t Have Due Process Rights

2.9.20

The significance of an appeals court ruling, written by Trump appointee Neomi Rao, claiming that the Guantánamo prisoners do not have due process rights, contrary to Boumediene v. Bush, the 2008 Supreme Court ruling affirming their habeas corpus rights, and a ruling last year, Qassim v. Trump, establishing their due process rights, in direction contravention of this latest ruling.

Never Forget: The “Season of Death” at Guantánamo

10.6.20

Marking the anniversary of a sequence of deaths at Guantánamo that I have long described as the “season of death,” when, between May 30 and June 9, in 2006, 2007 and 2009, five prisoners died. They were all suicides, according to the authorities, but all five were long-term hunger strikers, who resisted the brutality and illegality of their confinement, and were not, therefore, obvious candidates for suicide, and many valid accounts have been put forward challenging the official stories.

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.

“My Best Friend and Brother”: A Profile of Guantánamo Prisoner Khalid Qasim by Mansoor Adayfi

8.3.20

A powerful new article, originally published as a world exclusive on the Close Guantánamo website, by former Guantánamo prisoner Mansoor Adayfi, about his friend Khalid Qasim, a talented artist, singer and footballer, who is still held at Guantánamo, despite posing no threat to the US.

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.

Photos and Report: The Launch of “Guantánamo [Un]Censored: Art from Inside the Prison” at CUNY School of Law in New York

26.2.20

A second article about the launch of – and significance of – “Guantánamo [Un]Censored: Art from Inside the Prison,” an exhibition of Guantánamo prisoners’ artwork at CUNY School of Law in New York.

Humanizing the Silenced and Maligned: Guantánamo Prisoner Art at CUNY Law School in New York

22.2.20

My report about a powerful new exhibition of Guantánamo prisoners’ artwork that has just opened at CUNY School of Law in New York, featuring the work of eleven current and former prisoners, including Khalid Qasim, whose work I saw at a earlier version of the exhibition last month, during my annual US trip to call for the closure of the prison on the anniversary of its opening.

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.

Trump’s Personal Prisoners at Guantánamo: The Five Men Cleared for Release But Still Held

21.11.19

Following up on an article in the Independent, I look at the cases of five men abandoned in Guantánamo by Donald Trump — men who were approved for release by high-level review processes under President Obama, but who weren’t freed before he left office, and who, to my mind, can now legitimately be considered the personal prisoners of Donald Trump.

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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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