By Staff for Witness Against Torture. Clad in orange jumpsuits and Shut Down Guantanamo t-shirts, activists with Witness Against Torture took over the Hart Senate Building with a message for Senators, staffers, and the general public. They marked the 15th anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The message was “Shut Down Guantanamo,” “No Torture Cabinet” and “Hate Doesn’t Make U.S. Great.” These statements were painted a banner that activists dropped from a balcony as 9 members of the group dressed in orange jumpsuits and black hoods held a die-in, mourning those Muslim men who died at Guantanamo without ever being charged with a crime. The nine, and another two singers, were arrested by Capitol Police, as supporters sang “O America, don’t believe their lies. Their politics of hate will destroy our children’s lives.” The balconies were crowded with onlookers as the action unfolded. One of the two who unfurled the “No Torture Cabinet” banner
By Staff of Witness Against Torture – Mohamed Ould Slahi left Guantanamo on October 17, 2016 after fourteen years of imprisonment there. He was held without charge and tortured. Speaking of the torture, isolation, and loss he endured, he nevertheless forgives his captors. He says forgiveness is his inexhaustible resource. He maintains belief in the potential goodness of U.S. people. Witness Against Torture began our first full day of fasting this morning by listening to Slahi’s words and then hearing an op-ed that appeared in the morning’s New York Times. The op-ed quotes President-elect Donald Trump who says that Guantanamo should be kept open.
By Hina Shamsi for ACLU – After unlawfully imprisoning our client Mohamedou Ould Slahi at Guantánamo for 14 years without charge or trial, the U.S. government has finally released him. He is now home in his native Mauritania. We are overjoyed for Mohamedou and his loving family, who have been anxiously awaiting his return for so many years. His release brings the U.S. one man closer to ending the travesty that is Guantánamo. Mohamedou’s release comes after long legal battles and an outpouring of support worldwide
By Aisha Maniar for Truthout – Adapting to life after lengthy imprisonment and as a refugee in a strange land are challenges. Coupled with the trauma of years of torture and the stigma of Guantánamo, the challenge is colossal. Nearly two years after being released to Uruguay with five others in December 2014, Syrian refugee Jihad Ahmed Mustafa Dhiab, also known as Abu Wa’el Dhiab, 45, has faced all of these problems. Dhiab spent more than 12 years at Guantánamo after he was sold to the US military by the Pakistani police in 2002.
By Jessica Schulberg for The Huffington Post – WASHINGTON ― The Pentagon announced the transfer of 15 prisoners out of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility on Monday evening, marking the largest single exodus of detainees from the infamous prison in Barack Obama’s presidency. The 15 men are being transferred to the United Arab Emirates, a country that accepted five Yemeni detainees last year because the U.S. ruled out repatriating them to their unstable home country.
By Kit O’Connell for Mint Press News – AUSTIN, Texas — Water skiing in the morning, supervising the torture of a prisoner of the global war on terror in the afternoon — that’s just a typical day for National Security Agency personnel. That’s one of the many glimpses of National Security Agency life found in newly released documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks, which reveal the NSA’s intimate involvement with Guantanamo Bay interrogations and the Iraq War, as well as the dramatically increased demand for intelligence after 9/11.
By Yahdih Ould Salahi for The Guardian – I was 19 years old when my brother disappeared, and I was 20 when I discovered he was in Guantánamo. I’m 33 now, and a German citizen living in Dusseldorf, where I work as a computer systems engineer. I have a productive and peaceful life because of my brother. We grew up in Mauritania, one of the world’s poorest countries. I am the youngest of 12 siblings. My father died not long after I was born, and Mohamedou became the heart of our family. He studied hard, winning a scholarship to study engineering in Germany.
By Andy Worthington for Andy Worthington – On April 3, two Libyans — former opponents of Colonel Gaddafi, who was overthrown in 2011 — were freed from Guantánamo and resettled in Senegal, whose Ministry of Foreign Relations issued a statement pointing out that the two men were granted “asylum … in accordance with the relevant conventions of international humanitarian law, also in the tradition of Senegalese hospitality and Islamic solidarity with two African brothers who have expressed interest in resettlement in Senegal after their release.”
By Matthew W. Daloisio for Witness Against Torture, President Obama’s plan to close the prison at Guantanamo is finally here. But it’s as useless as the Executive Order he signed almost eight years ago. Obama’s plan proposes to close the facility but not end the legal and moral abomination it represents. Indefinitely detaining men without charge or trial in the continental United States — in supermax prisons no less — is as unacceptable as indefinite detention at Guantanamo. The Military Commissions are unworkable and unfair, and cannot be tweaked into legitimacy. Saving money by changing the zip code of an unjust system does nothing to lessen its moral cost. Any talk of expenses should be about how to offer compensation to the men the United States abused and provide proper resources for their resettlement.
By Sharmini Peries for The Real News – It’s the Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama sent a new proposal to Congress that was prepared for him by the Pentagon to close down Guantanamo Bay detention facility located in Cuba. The prison currently holds 93 detainees, 34 of whom are cleared for release. Speaking at the White House on Tuesday, Obama explained why he wants to close down the detention facility. Let’s have a look.
By Staff of FRANCE 24 – A French judge has summoned retired US General Geoffrey Miller, the former Guantanamo Bay prison chief, to appear in court on March 1 over allegations of torture, a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs told FRANCE 24 on Thursday. William Bourdon, a lawyer for former Gitmo detainee Mourad Benchellali, said General Miller was due in court at 10am on March 1 to answer accusations that he oversaw Benchellali’s “illegal detention and torture”.
By Frida Berrigan for Waging Nonviolence – I love my local paper. The Day is locally owned and based right in downtown New London, Connecticut. They publish an actual, physical newspaper every single day and have a first rate photo department. Their news pages feature a mix of national and international articles from The New York Times and AP wire service stories, as well as locally produced articles of local interest — with headlines like “Reality television producer sees show for New London.”
By Cora Currier for The Intercept – The government has refused to meet the deadline for the release of videotapes that show a detainee at Guantánamo being force-fed while on hunger strike. A federal judge had given the government until Friday, January 22, to release around 11 hours of footage in which a Syrian detainee, Abu Wa’el Dhiab, is forcibly removed from his cell, restrained, and force-fed. Dhiab’s lawyers have called the footage “extremely disturbing.”
By Kathy Kelly for Antiwar – Here in Kabul, young friends with theAfghan Peace Volunteers look forward to learning more about “The Tea Project” in late December, when Aaron Hughes arrives, an artist, a U.S. military veteran, and a core member of Iraq Veterans Against War. He’ll carry with him 20 plaster replicas of a standard-issue, factory-made Styrofoam cup. They’re part of a set numbering 779 replica cups, each cup dedicated to prisoners detained in Guantanamo. In the entire collection, 220 of the cups bear names of Afghan citizens imprisoned in Guantanamo.