Monday, April 20, 2015

Another Forever Detainee is Cleared....

A federal parole board has cleared another Guantánamo “forever prisoner” — a 37-year-old Yemeni who the U.S. profiled as having met Osama bin Laden — for release from the detention center in southeast Cuba.
“I am against violence. I don’t have the least intention to spend any more time with other detainees,” Mashoor al Sabri told the board last month. Although a Yemeni citizen, he said he was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, and would like to return to family there, in Mecca, notably an ailing mother with high blood pressure.
Read the rest here.

Read more here:

Detainee appeals to Pakistani High Court for Help

On April 14, lawyers for Ahmad Rabbani (aka Mohammed Ahmad Ghulam Rabbani), one of the last few Pakistani prisoners in Guantánamo, “filed an emergency application with the Islamabad High Court, demanding that the Pakistani government intervene immediately in his case,” as the legal action charityReprieve (which represents Mr. Rabbani) explained in a press release.

Read the rest here.

Guantánamo torture case appealed to SCOTUS

And this from the Center for Constitutional Rights:

Last Friday, CCR urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review its case seeking compensation for former Guantánamo prisoners who were tortured. Celikgogus v. Rumsfeld was filed against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other high-level government officials and Guantánamo personnel for authorizing and condoning torture. All of the clients were released without being charged with any crime, yet they were subjected to torture and other abuses, including solitary confinement, sleep deprivation, being prevented from praying, forcible shaving, and being medicated against their will. They continue to suffer the effects of this treatment years after being released; one is even immobilized. A district court dismissed the case in 2013, and the appellate court in 2014 affirmed the dismissal, claiming that the torture and religious humiliation these men endured were incidental to the “need to maintain an orderly detention environment.” The court also noted that this treatment appeared “standard for all” U.S. military detainees in Guantánamo, Iraq, and Afghanistan—as if the mere prevalence of torture justifies it. The Supreme Court has not heard a Guantánamo case since 2008, and to date none of those tortured at Guantánamo have been compensated for what they endured. CCRs pursuit of this case all the way to the highest court in the nation is emblematic of its longtime commitment to hold accountable, in whatever venue possible, those who created, designed and implemented U.S. torture – from Guantánamo to Abu Ghraib, CIA black sites, extraordinary renditions and elsewhere.
Thank you CCR.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

More reviews on Slahi's Guantanamo diary...

The book has been described as "a vision of hell, beyond Orwell, beyond Kafka." (John Le Carre') And it is being translated into more languages as I type.... so if you have not bought a copy yet check in your local books stores and get get it now.... no matter where you are in the world it should be available in your language if not now, soon.
Here is a recent review.
Here is how you can buy a copy in the U.S.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Meanwhile.... back at the military commissions...

In the dysfunctional military commissions a military judge has ordered an MRI of abdul al Rashim al-Nashiri's brain. His lawyers have long argued that he suffers from brain damage because of the severe torture he was subjected to-- including water boarding, a mock execution and anal rape.

Read more here.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A new commander for the Gitmo base.....UPDATED.

He takes over in July. We shall see what we shall see. The base has had more than its fair share of bad commanders but there have been a few that were not too bad....Time will tell.
Read more here.
More on the new commander here.
We can only hope he will remember his own words as he embarks on this "mission:"

Your legacy is a lot like what you put on the Internet, it is always out there for all to see,” Ponds said, according to a university news release. “Be mindful of what you say and do and what you leave behind for others to see and remember.”

Read more here:

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Defense department's insubordination on closing Guantánamo

Wells Dixon, is a fellow Gitmo attorney who works at the Center for Constitutional Rights.
His article at "The Hill" questions the failure of the DOD to follow Obama's directive to close Guantanamo:

American military doctrine is clear: when a superior officer identifies a lawful strategic objective, forces under his or her command must work to achieve it without delay.  When it comes to Guantánamo, however, the Pentagon continues to obstruct President Obama's mandate to close the prison.  Their defiance is tantamount to insubordination.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Catching Up..... again.

A lot has been happening.... and yet nothing really changes in the Gitmo world.
The military commission is at a standstill again. Read more about that here.

Jeff Kaye has written a book about the high dose "antimalarial" drugs given to the detainees when they landed at Guantanamo and the psychological impact of those drugs. That drug being provided at such high doses caused psycholigical trauma for the men that lasted for weeks and the drug was not given to them because of any threat of malaria. Read more here.

In really good news--- at least for now--- a French court has summoned one of the Guantanamo (and Abu Ghraib) torturers-- the infamous Gen. Geoffrey Miller for an inquiry. I'm guessing Geoffrey Miller will not be going to France (or the rest of Western Europe) soon.... Read more about that here   and here.

And wait... did I hear that my temporary home from a few years ago is thinking about taking on a Gitmo refugee or two (or maybe more....)? That is the rumor. I tried hard when I was there to convince the government to accept some men.... but of course that was mostly during the Bush years and no country in western europe was willing to help Bush......but it would be great if that wonderful country would be willing to lend a hand now. Read more here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

If Obama is really sorry he didn't close Guantanamo on day 1---

Some advice to Obama on how to close it now....

Read it here.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Poland asks the US not to execute men tortured on their soil...UPDATED YET AGAIN....

Warsaw (AFP) - Poland wants the United States to rule out the death penalty for two men who were tortured by the CIA in its territory before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay, according to a government letter released Tuesday.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has condemned Poland for hosting secret CIA prisons, saying it knowingly abetted the unlawful imprisonment and torture of Guantanamo-bound detainees Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian, and Saudi Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in 2002-2003.

Sadly Abu Zubaydah is on the forever to be detained but never to be charged list- because all of that torture just showed that he was a nobody! Maybe Poland can step up and ask the US to resettle Abu Zubaydah in Poland?

Today it was announced that Poland has apparently sent an "official note" to U.S. authorities seeking assurances that Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri will not be subject to the death penalty.
More here.

So today I have learned more about why Poland is finally stepping up and asking that al-Nashiri not be executed. It seems Poland risks breaching the Court of Human Rights ruling. In addition, Poland has to turn over files and finish its investigation (that has been ongoing since 2008) and turn over the results of that investigation.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

So what does it mean when Obama claims the Afghani war is over??

Lawyers for Al Warafi, who was has effectively spent his entire adult life in jail,[at Guantanamo] filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia last month to grant a writ of habeas corpus, which would require the government to release Al Warafi. The motion pointed to Obama’s public statements about the war, including his State of the Union Address, when he declared that “our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.”
Read the rest here.

Friday, March 27, 2015

International Court is now run by three women...

Not much attention is paid to the ICC here in the United States (wonder why that is???) anyway I did not want to let this historic moment go unnoticed.
Read more about it here.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

From Roger Fitch and our Friends Down Under at Justinian

Justinian in Guantanamo, International law, Military Commissions, Roger Fitch Esq, US Supreme Court 

At Guantánamo, the government has once again shown it can't be trusted to play nice at the innately unfair military commissions and the Convening Authority has resigned under pressure after adverse court rulings. 
Defence lawyers have already had to contend with FBI listening devices planted in smoke detectors of client interview rooms; government interference with and attempted co-option of a defence team member; and even real-time censoring of court proceedings by unidentified spooks. 
Now, an interpreter offered to the counsel for the "9/11" accused has been recognised by the defendants as an alumnus of the CIA team at their torture black site.  
Confronted by the judge, the Pentagon readily admitted the interpreter was a CIA asset, but wouldn't say where. The case is proceeding without him.
There was some good news. The Kafkaesque gag order, which had prevented the defendants and their counsel from even talking about their black site and other torture by the CIA, has been partially lifted.  
One of the first prisoners to benefit will be the 9/11 defendant Mustafa Hawsawi, now free to discuss being - uh - sodomised by the CIA (see December post). 

Marty Lederman is optimistic things are improving. More here

Read the rest of Roger Fitch's report here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Day in the Life at Guantanamo....

"Moath Hamza Ahmed al-Alwi, a Yemeni national who has been detained at the American prison facility at Guantánamo Bay since 2002, weighs only 98 pounds. Never charged with a crime, al-Alwi, now 35 years old, is one of many detainees at the camp who have gone on a prolonged hunger strike."
"Al-Alwi, who has described his strike as “a form of peaceful protest against injustice,” has said that he will not resume eating until there is some sort of legal resolution to his case. Prison officials have responded to his hunger strike by placing him in solitary confinement, denying him access to prescribed medical items and subjecting him to extreme temperatures in his cell."


Monday, March 23, 2015

France should investigate the torture claims of their nationals that were held at Guantanamo

On March 5, the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) urged a French Appeals Court to fully investigate claims by three French nationals that they were sexually and physically tortured during their detention at the Guantánamo Bay prison in 2002. But a lack of cooperation from U.S. authorities has stymied the French investigation.
So citizens of France, is it really this easy to ignore the claims of torture???
Read the rest here.