Yemenis in Guantanamo

The 15th Anniversary of the Contentious “Triple Suicide” of Three Prisoners at Guantánamo

10.6.21

My article marking the 15th anniversary of the death at Guantánamo of three prisoners — all long-term hunger strikers and fiercely resistant to the brutal lawlessness of the prison — who, according to the US authorities, died in a “suicide pact,” although that explanation has been robustly challenged on several occasions in the intervening years.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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