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URGENT ACTION REQUIRED for Six Former Guantánamo Prisoners Repatriated to Yemen from the UAE

28.7.21

My report about disturbing news regarding six former Guantánamo prisoners who have been repatriated to Yemen from the UAE, where they had been arbitrarily detained in abusive conditions since their transfer from Guantánamo in 2015 and 2016. Although this sounds like a positive move, their safety cannot be guaranteed in war-torn Yemen, and I urge campaigners to call on the State Department to take urgent action to support them, and to guarantee their safety.

Video: I Discuss the Possible Closure of the Prison at Guantánamo Bay on RT America

22.7.21

Video of my interview with Scottie Nell Hughes on RT America, discussing the possible closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, following the first prisoner release under President Biden — of Abdul Latif Nasser, a Moroccan who was repatriated on Monday July 19.

Biden Frees First Prisoner from Guantánamo: Abdul Latif Nasser, Approved for Release Five Years Ago

19.7.21

Celebrating the good news that President Biden has finally released a prisoner from Guantánamo — Abdul Latif Nasser, approved for release five years ago. I also hope that the Moroccan authorities will not interfere with his freedom, and remind President Biden that he must follow up as soon as possible by releasing the ten other men still held who have also been approved for release.

How the Law Failed at Guantánamo

16.7.21

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of a detailed article for the Atlantic about the failure of the law at Guantánamo by Benjamin Farley, an attorney with the defense team for Ammar al Baluchi, one of the five men accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks, who was also an adviser to the Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure from 2013 to 2017.

The Hell That is Boris Johnson’s Broken, Brexit-Deluded, Covid-Ravaged England

9.7.21

As the wretched Tory government of Boris Johnson irresponsibly prepares to lift all Covid restrictions, I look at how the delusions of Brexit, which is crippling British businesses, have fed into a political climate in which the Tories’ irresponsible and sometimes criminal response to Covid gets overlooked, and how Johnson and his Cabinet prioritise whatever will keep them in power — opening up sports events, for example, and cynically capitalising on England’s success in the Euro 2020 championships, while almost entirely abandoning the country’s cultural sector. I also look at how, under Priti Patel, almost all immigration has been shut down (despite job shortages that are making many businesses unviable), as this particularly vile home secretary also seeks to stamp out all political dissent, as well as criminalising the way of life of Gypsies and Travellers.

Former Military Commissions Prosecutor Calls for the Closure of Guantánamo

7.7.21

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of an op-ed in the Washington Post, calling for the closure of Guantánamo, written by Omar Ashmawy, a prosecutor in the only two military commission cases that proceeded to full trials — back in 2008. Ashmawy is hugely critical of the entire military commission process, and of Guantánamo as a whole, and calls for everyone who has not been charged to be freed, and for the handful of men facing trials to have those trials moved to federal courts on the US mainland.

UN Experts Condemn UAE Plans to Forcibly Repatriate Former Guantánamo Prisoner Ravil Mingazov to Russia, Where He Faces “Substantial Risk of Torture”

3.7.21

My response to UN human rights experts condemning the UAE for its proposal to forcibly repatriate Ravil Mingazov, a Russian sent to the UAE from Guantánamo in 2016, even though he faces “substantial risk of torture” in his home country. I call on the US government to respond by urgently appointing a Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure to intervene of Mingazov’s behalf — and also on behalf of 19 other men sent to the UAE from Guantánamo (18 Yemenis and an Afghan). All have been subjected to arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance since their resettlement, despite having been promised their freedom when they were first transferred.

The Bleak Legacy of Donald Rumsfeld: Guantánamo, Torture and Two Failed and Astonishingly Destructive Wars

1.7.21

With the death of former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, I take a close look at his dreadful legacy, involving the prison at Guantánamo Bay, the use of torture, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, and bemoan the fact that, unlikely though it is that any senior US official will ever be held accountable for their crimes against humanity committed in the “war on terror,” Rumsfeld’s death robs us, in his case, of even that slimmest sliver of hope.

On UN Torture Day, Please Remember the 40 Torture Victims Still Held at Guantánamo

26.6.21

On the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, marking the day, in 1987, when the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into effect, I ask you to remember the 40 torture victims still held at Guantánamo. 24 of them were specifically held and tortured in CIA “black sites,” but all 40 have, at Guantánamo, been held in what, in January, the UN described as “a place of arbitrariness and abuse, a site where torture and ill-treatment was rampant and remains institutionalized, where the rule of law is effectively suspended, and where justice is denied.”

Who Are the Two “Forever Prisoners” Approved for Release from Guantánamo by Periodic Review Boards?

23.6.21

The stories of Abdulsalam al-Hela and Sharqawi al-Hajj, the two Guantánamo prisoners approved for release last week by Periodic Review Boards, and what they tell us about how difficult it is for men designated as “forever prisoners,” held for nearly 20 years without charge or trial, to convince the US authorities that they do not pose a threat, and can be safely released.

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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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