Andy Worthington


Freed From Guantánamo, Mohammed Jawad Celebrates Eid With His Family

 

By Andy Worthington
 
This week I published an exclusive article about Mohammed Jawad, the Afghan prisoner, seized as a teenager, who was freed from Guantánamo last month, in which Maj. David Frakt, his military defense attorney (who also represented him in the habeas corpus case that resulted in his release) described the contributions made by other members of the defense team, and especially Maj. Eric Montalvo, who made two investigative trips to Afghanistan before his release, and who also accompanied him when he was finally freed.
 
As a follow-up, I’m posting below (via YouTube) a report from al-Jazeera about about Mohammed Jawad celebrating Eid ul-Fitr for the first time in seven years with his family

Read more...

Court Allows Return Of Guantánamo Prisoners To Torture

 By Andy Worthington 

 As rumors swirl, suggesting that a number of the remaining 13 Uighur prisoners in Guantánamo (Muslims from China’s Xinjiang province) may soon be relocating to the tiny Pacific island state of Palau, a court case relating to nine of these men threatens to hurl a number of other prisoners in Guantánamo, who have also been cleared for release, into a new maelstrom of uncertainty regarding their future, by removing long-standing injunctions preventing their return to countries where they face the risk of torture, or removing other requirements that, in anticipation of a transfer, the government provides their lawyers with 30 days’ warning.

Read more...

The Story of Oybek Jabbarov, An Innocent Man Freed From Guantánamo

By Andy Worthington

Yesterday I reported that the US government had released three prisoners from Guantánamo, repatriating Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed, a Yemeni, and sending two unidentified prisoners — presumed to be Uzbeks — to new homes in Ireland. I suspected that one of the men was Oybek Jabbarov, an Uzbek who was cleared for release from Guantánamo in 2007, but who could not be repatriated because of the well-known human rights abuses in his homeland, and the fact that he had been threatened by Uzbek agents who had been allowed to visit him in Guantánamo.

It has now been confirmed that one of the Uzbeks freed in Ireland is indeed Oybek Jabbarov, and, while I wish him and his unidentified countryman every opportunity to settle into their new home in peace, I want to take this opportunity to reproduce a letter by Jabbarov, sent from Guantánamo last October (PDF), and a statement by his lawyer, delivered to a House Committee last May, to demonstrate how, in contrast to the hyperbolic claims made by Bush administration officials and their supporters, it was disturbingly easy for innocent men like Oybek Jabbarov to end up in Guantánamo.

Read more...

Torture in Bagram and Guantánamo: The Declaration of Ahmed al-Darbi

By Andy Worthington

The following statement, made by Guantánamo prisoner Ahmed al-Darbi on July 1, 2009, was originally posted by the U.C. Davis Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas, a University of California research project, coordinated by Almerindo Ojeda, which is well worth visiting. I’m posting it here to accompany my article, “Torture And Futility: Is This The End Of The Military Commissions At Guantánamo?”
 
Declaration of Ahmed Al Darbi, July 1, 2009
 
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, I certify that the following is true and correct to the best of my knowledge:
 
INTRODUCTION
 
1. My name is Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Al Darbi.
 
2. I am a Saudi national who has been imprisoned at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (“Guantánamo”) for nearly six years. The U.S. military has assigned me Internment Serial Number (“ISN”) 768 at Guantánamo.

Read more...

New Documentary About Guantánamo to be Launched in October 2009

PRESS RELEASE

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo
(Spectacle Productions, 2009; 74 mins., directed by Polly Nash, with Andy Worthington)

“Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” is a new documentary film telling the story of Guantánamo (and including sections on extraordinary rendition and secret prisons) with a particular focus on how the Bush administration turned its back on domestic and international laws, how prisoners were rounded up in Afghanistan and Pakistan without adequate screening (and often for bounty payments), and why some of these men may have been in Afghanistan or Pakistan for reasons unconnected with militancy or terrorism (as missionaries or humanitarian aid workers, for example).

Read more...

A Truly Shocking Guantánamo Story: Judge Confirms That An Innocent Man Was Tortured To Make False Confessions

By Andy Worthington 

In four years of researching and writing about Guantánamo, I have become used to uncovering shocking information, but for sheer cynicism, I am struggling to think of anything that compares to the revelations contained in the unclassified ruling in the habeas corpus petition of Fouad al-Rabiah, a Kuwaiti prisoner whose release was ordered last week by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (PDF). In the ruling, to put it bluntly, it was revealed that the US government tortured an innocent man to extract false confessions and then threatened him until he obligingly repeated those lies as though they were the truth.
 
The background: lies hidden in plain sight for five years
 
To establish the background to this story, it is necessary for me to return to my initial response to the ruling a week last Friday, before these revelations had been made public, when, based on what I knew of the case from the publicly available documents, I explained that I was disappointed that the Obama administration had pursued a case against al-Rabiah, alleging that he was a fundraiser for Osama bin Laden and had run a supply depot for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan’s Tora Bora mountains, for two particular reasons.

Read more...

On Guantánamo, Lawmakers Reveal They Are Still Dick Cheney’s Pawns

By Andy Worthington

I like to believe that, despite studying Guantánamo for four years, I still have a sense of humor, but last Thursday I lost it, after 258 members of the House of Representatives (including 88 members of President Obama’s own party) voted for an idiotic, paranoid and unjust motion proposed by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ken.), which was designed to “Prohibit the transfer of GITMO prisoners, period” (those were his exact words).
 
Just 163 Representatives voted against the motion, which, as JURIST described it, also supports “adding Guantánamo detainees to the federal ‘no fly’ list, and adopting Senate language forbidding the release of photos showing detainee abuse.”
 

Read more...

A Letter From Afghanistan: “How Many Have Been Imprisoned, How Many Have Died?”

By Andy Worthington

Last year, I received one of those special emails out of the blue, from someone wise and compassionate, who, to my great delight, wished to thank me for the courage of my writing. This woman, who has worked in rural development and post-disaster rehabilitation for 20 years, mostly in Africa, has spent the last few years in Afghanistan, and last week I unexpectedly received the following letter by email, which was so perceptive and so informative that I asked for her permission to reproduce it here, and was delighted when she said yes.

Read more...

“Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo”

Full House in London for Film Premiere – Coming Soon to NY

By Andy Worthington
 
About the film
 
“Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” is a new documentary film, directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, telling the story of Guantánamo (and including sections on extraordinary rendition and secret prisons) with a particular focus on how the Bush administration turned its back on domestic and international laws, how prisoners were rounded up in Afghanistan and Pakistan without adequate screening (and often for bounty payments), and why some of these men may have been in Afghanistan or Pakistan for reasons unconnected with militancy or terrorism (as missionaries or humanitarian aid workers, for example).
 
The film is based around interviews with former prisoners (Moazzam Begg and, in his first major interview, Omar Deghayes, who was released in December 2007), lawyers for the prisoners (Clive Stafford Smith in the UK and Tom Wilner in the US), and journalist and author Andy Worthington, and also includes appearances from Guantánamo’s former Muslim chaplain James Yee, Shakeel Begg, a London-based Imam, and the British human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce.

Read more...

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo – Andy Worthington’s US Tour Dates, November 2009

By Andy Worthington 

Andy Worthington, author of The Guantánamo Files and co-director (with filmmaker Polly Nash) of the new Guantánamo documentary, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” will be visiting the US in November to show the film in New York, Virginia, Washington D.C., Berkeley and San Francisco.
 
The itinerary is below. Please note that all events are free — although some require booking in advance, and not all are open to the general public.
 
For further information about this visit, for interviews, or to inquire about broadcasting, distributing or showing “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . For inquiries relating to my book The Guantánamo Files, and to order retail copies in the US, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at Palgrave Macmillan, my US distributors.

Read more...

Who Are The Six Uighurs Released From Guantánamo To Palau?

By Andy Worthington

Over the weekend, six of the remaining 13 Uighurs in Guantánamo — Muslims from China’s Xinjiang province — were released to resume new lives in the tiny Pacific nation of Palau (population: 20,000). I have written at length about the plight of Guantánamo’s Uighurs, innocent men caught up in the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, who were mostly seized and sold to US forces by Pakistani villagers after fleeing a settlement in Afghanistan’s Tora Bora mountains where they had been living a Spartan live for several months, free from Chinese oppression.
 
Some were hoping to make their way to Turkey, to find work, but had found their way hard, and had been advised to seek out the settlement; others nursed futile dreams of rising up against the Chinese government, and, while working to make the settlement habitable, occasionally shot a few rounds on their only weapon, an aged Kalashnikov.

Read more...

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.