Yemenis in Guantanamo

“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.

18 Years After 9/11, the Endless Injustice of Guantánamo is Driving Prisoners to Suicidal Despair

11.9.19

On the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, one of the bitterest legacies of the “war on terror” that the Bush administration declared in response is Guantánamo, where the men held are sinking into despair under Donald Trump, including one man, Sharqawi Al Hajj, who, just last month, attempted suicide, cutting his wrists with a piece of glass while on a phone call with his lawyer. How long can this injustice continue?

Lawyers’ Fears for Guantánamo “Forever Prisoner” Sharqawi Al-Hajj “After Rapidly Declining Health and Suicidal Statements”

1.9.19

I report on disturbing news from the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), who explain that one of their Guantánamo clients, Sharqawi al-Hajj, a torture victim, “forever prisoner” and long-term hunger striker, “stated on a recent call with his attorney that he wanted to take his own life.”

A Rare Court Victory Offers Hope for Guantánamo’s “Forever Prisoners”

30.6.19

I report on an important case, argued by Tom Wilner, with whom I co-founded the ‘Close Guantánamo’ campaign in 2012, in which appeals court judges “reversed an eight-year rule that has prevented Guantánamo detainees from seeing and rebutting the evidence purportedly justifying their detention.” As Tom says, “This decision tears down the major barrier that has prevented the Guantánamo detainees from receiving a fair hearing.”

US Supreme Court Supports Lifelong Imprisonment Without Charge or Trial at Guantánamo; Only Justice Breyer Dissents

17.6.19

As the Supreme Court turns down a request for a review of his case by Moath al-Alwi, a Yemeni held at Guantánamo without charge or trial for over 17 years, I examine the significance of a statement made by Justice Stephen Breyer, questioning whether the court’s decisions over the last 15 years – and particularly in relation to Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, in June 2004 – have led to an endorsement of “perpetual detention.” The answer is yes, but it remains to be seen if the court is willing or able to tackle such a profound and lingering injustice.

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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, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer (The State of London).
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