Torture and Detention

Frequently Asked Questions (scroll down for article archives and further resources)

"If anyone acts like they don't know their government is torturing people on a widespread and systematic scale, they are choosing NOT to know. We have to continue to lead people to act against this -- going out to people, into classes, to institutions, and on worldcantwait.org. Too many people have learned to accept this, there is not nearly enough opposition to the revelations about these top level torture meetings -- but this is something that can change quickly if a beginning core acts with moral clarity..." -Debra Sweet, Director of World Can't Wait

Indefinite Detention and Torture Under ObamaDownload this flier

Torture + Silence = Complicity!

Act Now to Stop Torture!

Has Obama put an end to torture, rendition, and indefinite detention? Facts you need to know:

1. Obama admits Bush officials tortured, but refuses to prosecute them.

Cheney has bragged about authorizing water boarding of detainees. In January 2009, Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, that he believed water boarding was torture. Torture is a violation of Geneva Conventions. The Obama administration is, therefore, not only morally, but legally, required to prosecute Bush Regime officials for torture.

2. Under Obama, the U.S. is still holding detainees without charges or trial.

During the campaign Obama declared habeas corpus to be “the foundation of Anglo-American law.”Habeas corpus is your right to challenge your detention. It is a 900-year- old right. Without habeas corpus there are no restraints on a government’s powers to detain and punish.

Contrary to his rhetoric, the Obama administration is continuing the Bush Regime’s policies of denying prisoners habeas corpus rights and has even adopted the same arguments made by Bush. In February 2009, the Obama administration declared in Federal Court that it would not grant habeas corpus rights to detainees in U.S. custody in Bagram, Afghanistan.

In March 2009 Obama’s Justice Department claimed that Guantanamo prisoners who were detained before June 2008 had no habeas corpus rights. On May 21, 2010 the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the Obama administration, holding that three prisoners who are being held by the U. S. at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan cannot challenge their detention in U.S. courts.

3. Don’t be fooled just because Obama isn’t using the term “enemy combatant”

The Obama administration will no longer use the term “enemy combatant,” but it’s a change in name only: in the same court filing in which it made this announcement, Obama’s Justice Department made clear that it would continue to detain prisoners at Guantanamo without charge. As the NY Times put it:

[T]he [Obama] Justice Department argued that the president has the authority to detain terrorism suspects there without criminal charges, much as the Bush administration had asserted. It provided a broad definition of those who can be held, which was not significantly different from the one used by the Bush administration.

Meanwhile, Obama’s executive orders do not ban indefinite detention. In addition, at his confirmation hearing, Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder said: “There are possibly many other people who are not going to be able to be tried but who nevertheless are dangerous to this country… We’re going to have to try to figure out what we do with them.” Holder suggested prisoners could be detained for the length of their war of terror which, as we know, has no set end point.

4. Guantanamo is still open. The prison at Bagram is growing and torture is being committed.

According to Reuters, abuse of prisoners worsened shortly after the election of Obama:

Abuses began to pick up in December 2008 after Obama was elected, human rights lawyer Ahmed Ghappour told Reuters. He cited beatings, the dislocation of limbs, spraying of pepper spray into closed cells, applying pepper spray to toilet paper and over-forcefeeding detainees who are on hunger strike.”

Earlier this year Scott Horton reported in Harper’s Magazine on three murders of detainees in 2006 at Guantanamo that the military tried to cover up as suicides. More is coming out about torture at Bagram Detention Center in Afghanistan. Recently Andy Worthington reported on the detention and torture of three teenagers in his article, “Torture and the ‘Black’Prison,” or What Obama is Doing at Bagram (Part One).”

On June 7, 2010 Chris Floyd of Empire Burlesque wrote that under the Bush Regime medical personnel experimented on detainees to prove that the techniques used did not constitute torture. The chilling history of Nazi medical experimentation on those in concentration camps lurks in this revelation. (http://chris-floyd.com/articles/1-latest-news/1976- echoes-of-mengele-medical-experiments-torture-and- continuity-in-the-american-gulag.html)

This is a violation of Geneva Conventions and there is evidence that these experiments are going on under Obama.

5. Obama is continuing rendition.

During his confirmation hearing, new CIA director Leon Panetta made it clear the Obama administration will continue rendition. Rendition is the practice of kidnapping somebody in one country and shipping them to another country for detention. Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), said “Rendition is a violation of sovereignty. It’s a kidnapping. It’s force and violence…Once you open the door to rendition, you’re opening the door, essentially, to a lawless world.”

Obama supporters have attempted to draw the distinction between this practice and “extraordinary rendition,” defined as the practice of transferring somebody to another country knowing that they will be tortured. During his confirmation hearing, Leon Panetta said that under the Bush administration, “There were efforts by the CIA to seek and to receive assurances that those individuals would not be mistreated.” So Panetta is embracing the practices of the Bush Regime by continuing rendition!

Panetta then added, “I will seek the same kind of assurances that those individuals will not be mistreated.” (emphasis added)

Articles on Torture and Detention:

Act now for the Guantánamo prisoners

closeguantanamo.org | July 9, 2021

ravil mingazovReposted from the Close Guantanamo Now! campaign. 

In our latest article, Former Military Commissions Prosecutor Calls for the Closure of Guantánamo, we cross-post, with an introduction by our co-founder Andy Worthington, an op-ed recently published in the Washington Post by Omar Ashmawy, a former prosecutor in Guantánamo’s broken military commission trial system.

Ashmawy was involved in the only two cases that have proceeded to trials (six others ended in plea deals), and the broken nature of the commissions can be gauged from the fact that these trials took place 13 years ago, in 2008, and that even the most recent plea deal took place nine years ago, in 2012.

Read more...

Death of a war criminal, but not of the war

Debra Sweet | July 1, 2021

rumsfeldDonald Rumsfeld was a cunning unapologetic political/military operative in the US government's global machine of aggressive war-making. His death is no loss to humanity.

But it should cause an evaluation of the role he and his partners in war crimes - members of the Bush regime - played in launching the on-going war of terror on people in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan/Pakistan and beyond, and of the on-going efforts to stop these crimes.

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A known known

Raymond Nat Turner | 2021

  

“…there are known knowns. There are things

we know that we know. There are known

unknowns—things we do not know we know…”

—an infamous War Criminal

 

Read more...

Biden’s Slow Progress on Closing Guantánamo

Andy Worthington | June 17, 2021

biden-guantanamo-2021An article last week by NBC News — “Biden quietly moves to start closing Guantánamo ahead of 20th anniversary of 9/11” — was widely shared by opponents of the continued existence of the shameful prison at Guantánamo Bay, but frustratingly failed to live up to the promise of its headline.

40 men are still held at Guantánamo, and nine of these men have been approved for release by high-level US government review processes — three in 2010, two in 2016, one in 2020, and three just last month, in decisions taken by the Periodic Review Boards set up under President Obama that show a willingness on the part of the Biden administration to recognize that there is something fundamentally wrong with a system that continues to hold, indefinitely, men who have been held for up to 19 years, and have never been charged with a crime.

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The outrage that won't go away

Debra Sweet | April 30, 2021

specialevent 250 250 may22 3Justice-loving people were happy when Obama ordered Guantanamo closed; some were incredulous that he never took the actions he could have to actually close it. Trump, a proponent of torture, and particularly a fan of water-boarding, wanted to expand the US torture camp, and promised to reduce any protections to those held without charge.

Now comes Biden who seems to think Guantanamo is an embarrassment, and has indicated he would like to close it. But he has done even less than Obama did to take the steps needed.

We're sharing here an upcoming World Can't Wait event (please help spread the word to Spanish language speakers) and some recent articles of interest on Guantanamo.

Saturday May 22nd en español - On-line Event: Screening of "The Mauritanian" 
with special guest Mohamedou Ould Slahi
7:30 pm EDT / 6:30pm EST (Mexico/Central America) - stay tuned for details on the stream

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US Military Closes Camp 7, Guantánamo’s “High-Value Detainee” Prison Block, Moves Men to Camp 5

Andy Worthington | April 8, 2021

camp-7-guantanamoIn news from Guantánamo, the US military announced yesterday that it had shut Camp 7, the secretive prison block where Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other so-called “high-value detainees” have been held since their arrival at Guantánamo from CIA “black sites” in September 2006, and had moved the prisoners to Camp 5.

Modeled on a maximum security prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, Camp 5, which cost $17.5 million, opened in 2004, and its solid-walled, isolated cells were used to hold prisoners regarded as non-compliant. As the prison’s population shrank, however, it was closed — in September 2016 — and its remaining prisoners transferred to Camp 6, which opened in 2006, and includes a communal area.

Camp 7, meanwhile, which cost $17 million, was also built in 2004. Two storeys tall, it was modeled on a maximum-security prison in Bunker Hill, Indiana, and, as Carol Rosenberg explained in the New York Times yesterday, had “a modest detainee health clinic and a psychiatric ward with a padded cell, but none of the hospice or end-of-life care capacity once envisioned by Pentagon planners.”

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Obama said he’d close Guantánamo — these activists are pushing Biden to finish the job

A close Guantánamo protester in Washington, D.C. shortly before Barack Obama’s second inauguration in January 2013. (Witness Against Torture)Jeremy Varon | March 17, 2021

This article was originally published by Waging Nonviolence.

What should have been an end to the Guantánamo saga in 2012, was only the beginning of more grueling work for this anti-torture coalition.

I remember, as if in a distant dream, repeating through sobs of joy and exhaustion, “It’s over. It’s over.” On live TV President Obama had just signed, as his first official act in January 2009, an executive order mandating the closure of the prison at Guantánamo. To Obama’s right stood a proud Vice President Biden, gently coaching his neophyte boss through the momentous ceremony.

As my tears began to drain away, so too did the sting of years of torture, wars based on lies, and the grotesque contortions of the law making up Bush’s War on Terror. All the work of Witness Against Torture and other anti-GTMO activists — the frigid White House rallies, the endless press releases, the many fasts, the arrests for civil disobedience — had borne fruit. Tortured men could now go home, or stand trial before a fair tribunal.

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‘The Mauritanian’ rekindles debate over Gitmo detainees’ torture – with 40 still held there

file-20210211-14-1uejntb

Lisa Hajjar | February 12, 2021 

Click here to read the orginal post on theconversation.com

“The Mauritanian,” directed by Kevin Macdonald, is the first feature film to dramatize how the war on terror became a war in court.

As a sociologist of law and a journalist, I have spent the past two decades researching and writing about the kinds of legal battles the film accurately portrays. My research has included 13 trips to observe military commission trials at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The film stars Tahar Rahim as a Mauritanian named Mohamedou Ould Slahi who is captured and held at the Guantanamo detention center, where many suspected terrorists were sent. Jodie Foster and Shailene Woodley play Nancy Hollander and Teri Duncan, Slahi’s attorneys. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Lt. Col. Stuart Couch, who is assigned to prosecute Slahi’s case.

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Will Guantanamo stay the forever prison?

Debra Sweet | February 2, 2021

Is the torture colony established by the U.S. in 2002 a forever prison? Three U.S. presidents said: "Yes, these are the worst of the worst;" "No - that's not who we are;" and "Hell yes...let's build more Guantanamos." Until some decisive action is taken to close it, the prison at Guantanamo Bay is there as a monument to what the U.S. actually stands for.

What Biden will do is not clear, but here's what some people working for justice are saying:

Seven men formerly imprisoned at Guantanamo wrote an open letter to Biden published in The New York Review of Books on January 29. They call for the idea of "forever prisoners" to be rescinded, an end to the Military Commissions set up by Bush, expedited repatriation and changes in how prisoners are released:

Read more...

List of Current Prisoners at Guantanamo

 Steven Lane | February 2, 2021
 

Name

ISN

Date of Transfer

Days held by CIA

Status

Uthman Abdul Mohammed Uthman

27

16 Jan. 2002

N/A

Yemeni. He won his habeas corpus lawsuit on Feb. 24, 2010 but lost after the U.S. government appealed to the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit, which overturned the release order on March 29, 2011. A multi-agency federal task force classified him in January 2010 as “continued detention pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (2001), as informed by principles of the laws of war,” an indefinite detainee. A Periodic Review Board upheld his indefinite detention status on May 26, 2016, as did a follow-up review on April 24, 2018 that profiled him as veteran of the Tora Bora battle who was at one time selected to be a bodyguard to Osama bin Laden.

Moath Hamza Ahmed al Alwi

28

16 Jan. 2002

N/A

Yemeni. A multi-agency federal task force classified him in January 2010 as “continued detention pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (2001), as informed by principles of the laws of war,” an indefinite detainee. A Periodic Review Board upheld his indefinite detention status on Oct. 26, 2015. His military advocate protested a glitch at his hearing, and he was granted reconsideration and on multiple occasions had his indefinite detention status upheld. Alwi gained prominence as a cellblock artist who built ship models from castoff cardboard and other found objects that were on display in a New York City art exhibition that became controversial.

Ridah bin Saleh al Yazidi

38

11 Jan. 2002

N/A

Tunisian. Arrived the day the prison opened, Jan. 11, 2002. An Obama administration task force in January 2010 designated him as cleared for release. Little is known about why he isn’t gone but military and civilian sources have said he has repeatedly declined to meet with representatives of countries that would take him in for resettlement.

Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al-Bahlul

39

11 Jan. 2002

N/A

Yemeni. Arrived the day the prison opened, Jan. 11, 2002. A military commission convicted him of war crimes on Nov. 3, 2008 and sentenced him to life at Guantánamo for working as Osama bin Laden’s media secretary in Afghanistan. His Pentagon appellate attorneys got a portion of his conviction overturned, and are still pursuing appeals. They currently have a petition at the U.S. Supreme Court. Meantime, he was last known to be segregated as a convict at Guantánamo’s Camp 6 Hotel Block. As a convicted war criminal, he is not entitled to a Periodic Review Board evaluation.

Mohammed al-Qahtani

63

13 Feb. 2002

N/A

Saudi. Profiled as a suspected would-be 20th hijacker in the Sept. 11 terror attacks because he tried to enter the United States on Aug. 4, 2001, and was turned away by an immigration officer. He was subjected to such cruel “enhanced interrogation techniques” at Guantánamo that a senior Pentagon official, Susan Crawford, told The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward that she concluded he was tortured in U.S. custody, and in May 2008 dropped charges against him alleging he was a co-conspirator in the Sept. 11 plot. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial. The Periodic Review Board upheld his detention on July 18, 2016, re-branding him as an indefinite detainee, a status subsequently upheld on Feb. 16, 2018. His lawyers argue he has long suffered from mental illness, and should be repatriated to “long-term or permanent psychiatric confinement.”

Khalid Ahmad Qassim

242

1 May 2002

N/A

Yemeni. A multi-agency federal task force classified him in January 2010 as “continued detention pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (2001), as informed by principles of the laws of war,” an indefinite detainee. The Periodic Review Board most recently upheld that indefinite detention status on Feb. 21, 2018. His lawyer said he discovered art at Guantánamo, and in late 2016 began showcasing it to journalists on periodic media tours. When he went before the board for his second, every-three-year review on Jan. 30, 2018 a U.S. military officer said the man who arrived at Guantánamo at age 25 in 2002 matured in detention. “Some of his artwork was recently showcased at an art show in New York City,” the unnamed military officer said. “And the reviews were positive.”

Abdul Latif Nasir

244

3 May 2002

N/A

Moroccan. A multi-agency federal task force classified him in January 2010 as “continued detention pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (2001), as informed by principles of the laws of war,” an indefinite detainee, a forever prisoner. But a Periodic Review Board lifted the forever prisoner designation approved him for repatriation with security arrangements on July 11, 2016. Obama administration diplomats arranged for his repatriation, but the release package got to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s desk too late.

Muieen Adeen Abd al Sattar

309

9 Feb. 2002

N/A

Born in UAE. An Obama administration task force in January 2010 designated him as cleared for release. Pentagon officials have described him as an ethnic Rohingya Burmese, complicating their ability to find a nation to take him in for resettlement. Because he was cleared for release before the establishment of the Periodic Review Board, he does not have to go before the national security parole panel to articulate his vision for life after Guantánamo. Little is known about him.

Suhayl al Sharabi

569

5 May 2002

N/A

Yemeni. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial. He’s never been charged with a crime. The Periodic Review Board upheld his indefinite detention on March 31, 2016. A subsequent Jan. 24, 2018 file review also upheld that status. A brief 2018 Pentagon profile identified him as a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden.

Ghassan Abdullah al Sharbi

682

19 June 2002

N/A

Saudi. During the Bush administration he was designated for trial by a now defunct version of the military commissions charging him with a crime, providing material support for terror, that the war court prosecutor considers no longer viable. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial. But he never was charged during the Obama administration and the Periodic Review Board declared him too dangerous to release on July 26, 2016. A subsequent Feb. 16, 2018 file review also upheld that status. Before the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks Sharbi attended a flight school in the United States.

Abdul Razak Ali Abdelrahman

685

19 June 2002

N/A

Algerian. A federal judge upheld his indefinite detention as June 23, 2011, denying the habeas corpus petition of this Taliban government media spokesman, governor and Cabinet minister. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial. He’s never been charged with a crime. The Periodic Review Board upheld his detention on July 6, 2016. A subsequent review on Aug. 21, 2018 also upheld that status. The U.S. holds him as Said bin Brahim bin Umran Bakush, and says he was a “trusted associate” of Abu Zubaydah, who is held apart from him.

Sufiyan Barhoumi

694

18 June 2002

N/A

Algerian. During the Bush administration he was designated for trial by a now defunct version of the military commissions. A federal judge upheld his indefinite detention on Sept. 3, 2009, denying his habeas corpus petition, and a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld that decision detention on Jun. 22, 2010. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial. The Periodic Review Board, declared him approved for transfer, with security arrangements, on Aug. 9, 2016. His lawyers say he plans to open a pizza parlor on his return to Algiers. U.S. diplomats arranged for his repatriation, but the Secretary of Defense Ash Carter declined to sign off on it before time ran out in the Obama administration.

Ismael Ali Faraj al Bakush

708

5 August 2002

N/A

Libyan. A multi-agency federal task force classified him in January 2010 as “continued detention pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (2001), as informed by principles of the laws of war,” an indefinite detainee. He has never been charged with a crime. The Periodic Review Board upheld that forever prisoner status on Feb. 16, 2018, declaring him still too dangerous too release, and again in August 2018. The U.S. military considers him an al-Qaida trained explosives experts from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

Hani Saleh Rashid Abdullah

841

28 October 2002

30-39

Yemeni. Also has been known as Said Salih Said Nashir since he got to Guantánamo Oct. 28, 2002. A multi-agency federal task force classified him in January 2010 as “continued detention pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (2001), as informed by principles of the laws of war,” an indefinite detainee. He went before the Periodic Review Board April 21, 2016, which upheld his indefinite detention after multiple reviews, including on Jan 24, 2018.

Toffiq Nassar Ahmed al Bihani

893

6 Feb. 2002

50-59

Yemeni. A federal judge upheld his indefinite detention on Sept. 22, 2010, denying his habeas corpus petition. In January 2010, a federal task force approved him for conditional return to his homeland, a third country or transfer to the United States if the prison camps in Cuba are closed. It said he was eligible for conditional release, if the security situation in Yemen improves — or a viable third-country settlement or rehabilitation program is found. His attorney has said he had been designated at times for release but the Pentagon failed to do it. His brother, Ghaleb, was released to the custody of Oman in the dwindling days of the Obama administration.

Omar Mohammed Ali al Rammah (Zakaria)

1017

9 May 2003

370- 379

Yemeni. A chart accompanying the Senate Intelligence Committee ‘Torture Report’ indicates a captive known as “Zakariya,” his nickname, was held by the CIA for 360 days or more. That accounts for a gap in his Guantánamo prisoner profile between his capture in Georgia and transfer to U.S. military custody on April 9, 2003 at Bagram, Afghanistan, a month before he was sent to Guantánamo. A multi-agency federal task force classified him in January 2010 as “continued detention pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (2001), as informed by principles of the laws of war,” an indefinite detainee. The Periodic Review Board upheld his indefinite detention status on Aug. 22, 2016. He had a subsequent review on Feb. 9, 2017, arguing through a representative his post-release plan “to put Guantanamo behind him and become a contributing member of society.” No decision was released as 2018 drew to a close.

Saifullah Paracha

1094

19 Sept. 2004

N/A

Pakistani. He got to Guantánamo on Sept. 19, 2004. A former U.S. green card holder, he is also the eldest of the Guantánamo detainees, according to leaked detention center records. He was captured in Thailand on July 5, 2003 and the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee ‘Torture Report’ says, while it was an FBI orchestrated operation, the CIA wanted to take custody of him and question him with enhanced interrogation techniques. The proposal was rejected. He was born in Aug. 17, 1947, and has a history of coronary artery disease. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial. He’s never been charged with a crime but the Periodic Review Board upheld his indefinite detention on April 7, 2016, making him an indefinite detainee in the war on terror. He later told the board he would close out his businesses, essentially retire, to reassure the U.S. of his intentions. But the board rejected that offer, citing his “indifference to his the impact of his prior actions and the lack of evidence of significant mitigation measures." Then a September 2018 review, denying his request for release, concluded that “recent changes in his family and financial situation show a lack of available support should he be transferred.”

Sanad Ali Yislam al-Kazimi

1453

19 Sept. 2004

270-279

Yemeni. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial. He’s never been charged with a crime although internal Defense Department documents show that in late 2014 he was still considered a candidate for a war crimes trial. The Periodic Review Board declared him too dangerous to release on June 9, 2016.

Hassan Mohammed Ali bin Attash

1456

19 Sept. 2004

120 129

Yemeni. According to leaked military records, he is the youngest of the current detainees. He is also the brother of high-value detainee Walid Bin Attash, held in a different camp. His lawyer says they’ve never seen each other at Guantánamo. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial. But he’s never been charged with a crime and the Periodic Review Board declared him too dangerous to release on Oct. 11, 2016.

Sharqawi Abdu Ali al-Hajj

1457

19 Sept. 2004

120 129

Yemeni. AKA Riyadh the Facilitator who got to Guantánamo Sept. 19, 2004. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial. He’s never been charged with a crime but Defense Department documents showed that in late 2014 he was still considered a candidate for a war crimes trial. The Periodic Review Board declared him too dangerous to release on April 14, 2016. A subsequent review upheld that decision on Sept. 13, 2018.

Abdul Rahim Ghulam Rabbani

1460

19 Sept. 2004

550-559

Pakistani. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial. He’s never been charged with a crime and the Periodic Review Board upheld his detention on Aug. 8, 2016. He chose not to go before the board for a subsequent review that upheld that status on Feb. 27, 2018. That decision described him as a facilitator who helped move and house al-Qaida “fighters and key figures” for Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

Mohammed Ahmed Ghulam Rabbani (Abu Badr)

1461

19 Sept. 2004

550- 559

Pakistani. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial. He’s never been charged with a crime. The Periodic Review Board upheld his detention on Oct. 3, 2016, re-branding him as an indefinite detainee — just like his brother, Abdul Rahim.

Abd al Salam al Hela

1463

19 Sept. 2004

590- 599

Yemeni. A multi-agency federal task force classified him in January 2010 as “continued detention pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (2001), as informed by principles of the laws of war,” an indefinite detainee. A Periodic Review Board, upheld that status on June 19, 2018. The U.S. military considers him a “prominent extremist facilitator” who helped al-Qaida through his links to the Yemeni Political Security Organization. He was also a founding director of a prison group that in 2013 wrote a prospectus for a Yemeni “Milk & Honey” farm to present to the review board as a vision for life after release from prison.

Asadullah Haroon Gul (Haroon al-Afghani)

3148

22 June 2007

N/A

Afghan. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial. He’s never been charged with a crime and a Periodic Review Board upheld his indefinite detention in the war on terror on Aug. 9, 2018. The U.S. military considers him to be a former Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, or HIG, commander who organized and led attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

 

Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi

10011

4 Sept. 2006

1,280-1,289

Saudi. Charged in death-penalty proceedings by military commission as an alleged co-conspirator in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The ICRC says Pakistani authorities arrested him March 1, 2003 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. As a former CIA “black site” captive who was taken to Guantánamo in September 2006, he is held at Camp 7, a secret prison where the Pentagon segregates high-value detainees. Since he is charged with a crime, he is not entitled to a Periodic Review Board evaluation.

Ramzi bin al Shibh

10013

4 Sept. 2006

1,300-1,309

Yemeni. Charged in death-penalty proceedings by military commission as an alleged co-conspirator in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The ICRC says Pakistani authorities arrested him Sept. 11, 2002 in Karachi, Pakistan. As a former CIA “black site” captive who was taken to Guantánamo in September 2006, he is held at Camp 7. The Senate Intelligence Committee “Torture Report” says he was in CIA custody, including at Guantánamo, from September 2003 into April 2004. He chose not to go before a military panel at Guantánamo in March 2007; it subsequently upheld his status as an enemy combatant. Since he is charged with a crime, he is not entitled to a Periodic Review Board evaluation.

Khallad (Walid) bin Attash

10014

4 Sept. 2006

1,200- 1209

Yemeni. He’s charged in death-penalty proceedings by military commission as an alleged co-conspirator in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The ICRC says Pakistani authorities arrested him on April 29, 2003 in Karachi, Pakistan. As a former CIA “black site” captive who was taken to Guantánamo in September 2006, he is held at Camp 7. Since he is charged with a crime, he is not entitled to a Periodic Review Board evaluation.

Abd al Rahial-Nashiri

10015

4 Sept. 2006

1,390-1,399

Saudi. He’s charged in death-penalty proceedings by military commission as an alleged conspirator in the October 2000 al Qaida suicide bombing of the USS Cole off Aden, Yemen. The ICRC says he was arrested in October 2002 in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. The Senate Intelligence Committee “Torture Report” says he was in CIA custody, including at Guantánamo, from September 2003 into April 2004. As a former CIA “black site” captive who was taken to Guantánamo in September 2006, he is held at Camp 7. Since he is charged with a crime, he is not entitled to a Periodic Review Board evaluation.

Abu Zubaydah (Zayn al Abidin Muhammad Husayn)

10016

4 Sept. 2006

1,610-1,690

Palestinian. AKA Abu Zubaydah. The ICRC says he was arrested March 28, 2002 in Faisalabad, Pakistan. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial but he’s never been charged with a crime. He went before the Periodic Review Board Aug. 23, 2016, which announced a month later that he was too dangerous to release. He has been described on multiple occasions as a respected block leader at Camp 7.

Mustafa Faraj Muhammad Mas’ud al-Jadid al-Uzaybi (Abu Faraj al-Libi)

10017

4 Sept. 2006

460 469

Libyan. The ICRC says Pakistani authorities arrested him on May 2, 2005 in Mardan, Pakistan. As a former CIA “black site” captive who was taken to Guantánamo in September 2006, he is held at Camp 7. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial but he’s never been charged with a crime. His personal representative, a U.S. military officer, said he boycotted his hearing before a military panel at Guantánamo on March 9, 2007. “He’s waiting for legal proceedings.” His case went before the Periodic Review Board Aug. 16, 2016 for a status determination decision. He did not attend the hearing. The panel declared him an indefinite detainee, on Sept. 16, 2016.

Ammar al Baluchi

10018

4 Sept. 2006

1,200- 1209

Pakistani. He’s charged in death-penalty proceedings by military commission as an alleged co-conspirator in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The ICRC says Pakistani authorities arrested him on April 29, 2003 in Karachi, Pakistan. As a former CIA “black site” captive who was taken to Guantánamo in September 2006, he is held at Camp 7. Since he is charged with a crime, he is not entitled to a Periodic Review Board evaluation.

Riduan bin Isomuddin (Hambali)

10019

4 Sept. 2006

1,110-1,119

Indonesian. AKA Hambali. The International Red Cross says he was arrested Aug. 11, 2003 in Bangkok, Thailand. As a former CIA “black site” captive, he is held in at Camp 7. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial. The Periodic Review Board declared him an indefinite detainee on Sept. 19, 2016. But then in June 2017, the Pentagon war crimes prosecutor swore out terror charges against him, suggesting he might one day face trial by military commission, and saying separately that he would not seek the death penalty in the case. The prosecutor re-swore charges as part of a three-man conspiracy in December 2017, but the overseer of the war court has not decided whether to let the case go forward. The Senate Torture Report quotes a CIA interrogator as telling Hambali in an undisclosed agency prison “that he would never go to court, because ‘we can never let the world know what I have done to you.’”

Majid Khan

10020

4 Sept. 2006

1,200- 1209

Pakistani. The International Red Cross says this Baltimore area educated man was arrested March 5, 2003 in Karachi, Pakistan. As a former CIA “black site” captive, he was taken to Guantánamo in September 2006 and held at Camp 7. He turned government witness and pleaded guilty to war crimes Feb. 29, 2012, and is held in a separate secret site for cooperating ex-CIA captive witnesses at Guantánamo. In June 2015, his attorneys released then recently unclassified versions of their conversations with Khan, who described two episodes of waterboarding not described in the U.S. Senate report. The public portion of the Senate report offered a description of his being “rectally infused” with a a pureed “food tray” of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts, and raisins because he was on a hunger strike. His sentencing is now scheduled for July 1, 2019. Since he is charged with a crime, he is not entitled to a Periodic Review Board evaluation.

Mohammed Farik bin Amin (Zubair)

10021

4 Sept. 2006

1,170-1,179

Malaysian. AKA Zubair. The ICRC says he was arrested June 8, 2003 in Bangkok, Thailand. As a former CIA “black site” captive who was taken to Guantánamo in September 2006, he is held at Camp 7. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial. He went before a military panel at Guantánamo in March 13, 2007. Transcript here. He went before the Periodic Review Board Aug. 9, 2016; the panel approved his indefinite detention in the war on terror. In December 2017, however, the war court prosecutor swore charges against him and two other men in an alleged three-person conspiracy to commit terror attacks in Southeast Asia. The next step would be for the Pentagon overseer of military commissions to approve them, which has not happened.

Mohammed Bashir bin Lep

10022

4 Sept. 2006

1,110-1,119

Malaysian. AKA Lilie. The ICRC says he was arrested Aug. 11, 2003 in Bangkok, Thailand. As a former CIA “black site” captive who was taken to Guantánamo in September 2006, he is held at Camp 7. In January 2010, a federal task force recommended he be considered for trial. On Aug. 11, 2016 he went before the Periodic Review Board, which approved his indefinite detention in the war on terror. In December 2017, however, the war court prosecutor swore charges against him and two other men in an alleged three-person conspiracy to commit terror attacks in Southeast Asia. The next step would be for the Pentagon overseer of military commissions to approve them, which has not happened.

Hassan Guleed

10023

4 Sept. 2006

900- 909

Somali. Recommended for continued detention and possible transfer to detention in the U.S., but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in August 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in September 2016.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammad

10024

4 Sept. 2006

1,280- 1289

Pakistani. Charged in death-penalty proceedings by military commission as the alleged mastermind in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The ICRC says Pakistani authorities arrested him March 1, 2003 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. As a former CIA “black site” captive who was taken to Guantánamo in September 2006, he is held at Camp 7. Since he is charged with a crime, he is not entitled to a Periodic Review Board evaluation.

Mohammed Abdul Malik Bajabu

10025

23 March 2007

N/A

Kenyan. A multi-agency federal task force classified him in January 2010 as “continued detention pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (2001), as informed by principles of the laws of war,” an indefinite detainee. The Periodic Review Board declared him too dangerous to release on June 9, 2016, and has upheld his status through subsequent reviews. In the dwindling days of the Obama administration the White House offered to send the Kenyan to Israel for prosecution but that would require FBI collaboration with Israeli officials, which wasn’t forthcoming.

 

Nashwan al-Ramer Abdulrazzaq (Abd al Hadi al Iraqi)

 

10026

22 April 2007

170-179

Iraqi. He is held in a secret prison where the Pentagon segregates high-value detainees. He was arraigned June 18, 2014 and faces non-capital charges at the war court alleging he was commander of al-Qaida’s army between 2002 and 2004. If convicted, he could be punished with a maximum of life in prison. No trial date has been set yet, in part because some of his pretrial hearings have been derailed by his undergoing a series of emergency spine surgeries. At a May 17, 2016, pretrial hearing his lawyer announced that his real name was Nashwan al Tamir. Since he is charged with a crime, he is not entitled to a Periodic Review Board evaluation.

Muhammad Abdulrazzaq al-Afghani (Muhammad Rahim al-Afghani ? )

10029

13 March 2008

240-249

Afghan. He is held in a secret prison where the Pentagon segregates high-value detainees. A multiagency federal task force classified him in January 2010 as “continued detention pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (2001), as informed by principles of the laws of war,” an indefinite detainee. The Periodic Review Board upheld his status on Sept. 19, 2016. The chief war crimes prosecutor, Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, said in a May 26, 2016 letter that a war crimes prosecution against Rahim is unlikely.

An Open Letter to President Biden About Guantánamo

 
guantanamo-seven-booksPresident Bush opened it. President Obama promised to close it, but failed to do so. President Trump promised to keep it open. Now, it is your turn to decide.

We write to you as former prisoners of the United States held without charge or trial at the military detention facility at Guantánamo Bay who have written books about our experiences.

First, we welcome your presidential orders to reverse many unjust and problematic decisions made by your predecessor. We appreciate your repeal of the “Muslim ban,” which will now allow nationals from the Muslim-majority countries previously targeted into the United States, therefore bringing relief to families torn apart by this order.

Despite some positive developments, including the repeal of the Muslim ban, there is another deeply flawed and unjust process that has continued through five US presidential administrations spanning two decades: Guantánamo Bay prison. Guantánamo Bay has existed for over nineteen years and was built to house an exclusively Muslim male population.

We understand that your faith is important to you and helps to guide your vision of social justice. During our incarceration, we often reflected on the story of the Prophet Joseph (Yusuf) in the Quran and his years of wrongful imprisonment. It’s the same story in the Bible and one that reminds us that justice is not only divine, but timeless. That is why we are writing to you.

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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.