Andy Worthington


A Child At Guantánamo: The Unending Torment of Mohamed Jawad

By Andy Worthington
 
In all the recent hysteria about the supposed dangers posed by the remaining 240 prisoners at Guantánamo, it has been easy to forget that sensible appraisals of the number of individuals with any meaningful connection to terrorism have long indicated that no more than a few dozen of those still held should be regarded as any kind of significant threat, and that therefore the prison still holds over 200 prisoners who, at best, were low-level Taliban soldiers with a strong dislike of US foreign policy, and, at worst, should never have been held at all.
 
To listen to Dick Cheney, or to some serving politicians who are prone to similar hyperbole, you would think that every one of the remaining 240 prisoners is just itching to return to the fictional battlefield conjured up in last week’s conveniently leaked Pentagon report about recidivism rates (PDF), which, while published uncritically by the New York Times, has been comprehensively trashed by reporters for the New American, FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), Firedoglake and many other media outlets.

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Yemeni Prisoner Muhammad Salih Dies At Guantánamo

By Andy Worthington
 
It has just been reported that Muhammad Ahmad Abdallah Salih (also known as Mohammed al-Hanashi), a Yemeni prisoner at Guantánamo, has died, apparently by committing suicide.
The news comes just three days after the second anniversary of another death at Guantánamo — that of Abdul Rahman al-Amri, a Saudi prisoner who died on May 30, 2007 — and just eight days before the third anniversary of the deaths of three other prisoners — Ali al-Salami, Mani al-Utaybi and Yasser al-Zahrani — who died on June 10, 2006, and it must surely hasten calls for the urgent repatriation of other prisoners before there are any more deaths at the prison.
 
The Associated Press, which first reported the story, stated that US military officials had reported that Salih, who was 31 years old, was found “unresponsive and not breathing in his cell Monday night,” and that he had died of an “apparent suicide.”

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A Child At Guantánamo: The Unending Torment of Mohamed Jawad

By Andy Worthington
 
In all the recent hysteria about the supposed dangers posed by the remaining 240 prisoners at Guantánamo, it has been easy to forget that sensible appraisals of the number of individuals with any meaningful connection to terrorism have long indicated that no more than a few dozen of those still held should be regarded as any kind of significant threat, and that therefore the prison still holds over 200 prisoners who, at best, were low-level Taliban soldiers with a strong dislike of US foreign policy, and, at worst, should never have been held at all.
 
To listen to Dick Cheney, or to some serving politicians who are prone to similar hyperbole, you would think that every one of the remaining 240 prisoners is just itching to return to the fictional battlefield conjured up in last week’s conveniently leaked Pentagon report about recidivism rates (PDF), which, while published uncritically by the New York Times, has been comprehensively trashed by reporters for the New American, FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), Firedoglake and many other media outlets.

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Guantánamo’s Hidden History: Shocking Statistics of Starvation

By Andy Worthington

“Guantánamo’s Hidden History: Shocking Statistics of Starvation” is a report I’ve compiled for Cageprisoners analyzing the weight records for prisoners at Guantánamo (released by the Pentagon in March 2007), which demonstrate that, from January 2002, when the prison opened, until February 2007, when these particular records came to an end, one in ten of the total population — 80 prisoners in total — weighed, at some point, less than 112 pounds (eight stone, or 50 kg), and 20 of these prisoners weighed less than 98 pounds (seven stone, or 44 kg).

 
The report is available here (as a PDF):
Guantanamo’s Hidden History: Shocking Statistics Of Starvation
      

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Binyam Mohamed: Was Muhammad Salih’s Death In Guantánamo Suicide?

By Andy Worthington
 
Recently, in the “Other Voices” section of the Miami Herald, Binyam Mohamed, the British resident and victim of “extraordinary rendition” and torture, who was returned to the UK in February, provided readers with his interpretation of the recent death in Guantánamo of the Yemeni prisoner Muhammad Salih. I’m cross-posting it here because of its significance, as Binyam Mohamed knew Muhammad Salih in Guantánamo, and provides a context for his death that raises some profoundly disturbing questions.
 
Was detainee’s death a suicide?
By Binyam Mohamed
Miami Herald, June 11, 2009

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“Isolation and Hopelessness”: the Last Iraqi In Guantánamo Returns Home

By Andy Worthington 

 
Last Thursday, while all eyes were focused on the arrival of four Uighurs from Guantánamo on Bermuda’s balmy shores — and while a few other commentators, myself included, noted that Guantánamo’s youngest prisoner, Mohammed El-Gharani, had been released to his family’s home country of Chad — only one journalist, James Warren of the Atlantic, noticed that another prisoner, an Iraqi named Jawad Jabbar Sadkhan al-Sahlani, had also been released. Warren spoke to his lawyer, Jeffrey Colman of Jenner & Block, who told him, bluntly, “He should never have been there.”
Al-Sahlani (whose last name had never been registered by the Pentagon) had explained in Guantánamo that he had been seized by mistake. In his Combatant Status Review Tribunal in 2004 (a one-sided administrative review board convened to assess whether, on capture, he had been correctly designated as an “enemy combatant” who could be held without charge or trial), he said that he and his family had left Iraq because of the intolerable living conditions under Saddam Hussein, and that they had gone first to Iran, and then to the UN in Pakistan, where he sought asylum.

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WORLD EXCLUSIVE: New Revelations About The Torture Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi

In a world exclusive, Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files, reveals new information, from a source in Libya, about Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, the former US “ghost prisoner” who died in a Libyan jail last month, focusing, in particular, on the prisons in which he was held, and the ways in which torture was used by his interrogators.
 
By Andy Worthington
 
Since the story first emerged last month that Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (whose real name was Ali Abdul Hamid al-Fakheri) had died in a Libyan prison, speculation has been rife that the Libyan newspaper Oea, which claimed that he had died by committing suicide, was covering up the fact that he had actually been murdered.
 
Once the Bush administration’s most famous “ghost prisoner,” al-Libi had been the emir of the Khaldan training camp in Afghanistan, but his notoriety stemmed not from his own activities, but from the fact that, after his capture in December 2001, he was rendered by the CIA to Egypt, where, under torture, he made a false confession that two al-Qaeda operatives had been receiving information from Saddam Hussein about the use of chemical and biological weapons, which was subsequently used to justify the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
 
The death of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi
 
There were several signs to indicate that the story of al-Libi’s death was suspicious. Oea is owned

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Guantanamo’s “Forgotten Child” Speaks

 By Andy Worthington

 Speaking for the first time since his release from Guantánamo after seven years’ imprisonment without charge or trial, following a successful habeas corpus appeal in January, Mohammed El-Gharani, now a free man in Chad, told Mohamed Vall of al-Jazeera, in an exclusive interview, how he felt about being imprisoned from the age of 14 to the age of 21. “Seven of the most beautiful years of youth were lost in prison,” he said. “I couldn’t learn or work. Seven years were just lost — for nothing.” Recounting the torture he experienced, which I reported last April in my article, “Guantánamo’s forgotten child: the sad story of Mohammed El-Gharani,” Mohammed also revealed, for the first time, that the interrogators in Guantánamo tried to force him to spy on his fellow prisoners.
 

 

Release Of The “Holy Grail” Of Torture Reports Delayed Again

By Andy Worthington
 
July 1 was supposed to be the day that the Justice Department — after two delays — released an unclassified version of the CIA Inspector General’s 2004 Report into the interrogations of “high-value detainees” in the “War on Terror,” which Democrat Congressional staffers described as the “holy grail,” according to Greg Sargent of the Plum Line, writing in May, “because it is expected to detail torture in unprecedented detail and to cast doubt on the claim that torture works.”

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Judge Rules That Afghan “Rendered” To Bagram In 2002 Has No Rights

 

By Andy Worthington
 
In a depressing if predictable decision last Monday, District Court Judge John D. Bates ruled that Haji Wazir, an Afghan businessman seized in the United Arab Emirates in 2002 and rendered to the US prison at Bagram airbase, can continue to be held as a prisoner without rights, even though he has never had an adequate opportunity to test whatever allegations the US military is using to justify his detention, and even though he has been given no sign of when, if ever, his detention will come to an end.

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Britain’s Secret Torture Policy Exposed: Standing ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ with the U.S.

 

By Andy Worthington
 
On Tuesday evening, Britain’s secret torture policy was blown wide open when, in the House of Commons, David Davis MP used the protection of parliamentary privilege to tell the House how, in 2006, the British government and the security services allowed Rangzieb Ahmed, a British citizen, to travel to Pakistan, where they “suggested” to the Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Pakistan’s most notorious intelligence agency, that he should be arrested.
 
As Davis explained, “We … know that the intelligence officer who wrote to the Pakistanis did so in full knowledge of the normal methods used by the ISI against terrorist suspects that it holds. That is unsurprising, as it is common public knowledge in Pakistan. The officer would therefore be aware that ‘suggesting’ arrest was equivalent to ‘suggesting’ torture.”

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About

World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.