Sunday, January 03, 2021

Nineteen years of Guantánamo!

Prisoners held at the Guantánamo Bay detention camp have been under lockdown for almost two decades! Out of a total of 780 men and boys known to have been held there, 40 remain, most of whom have never been charged or tried. They do not know why they are held there or the threat they are alleged to pose. All have been subjected to degrading treatment and/or torture and arbitrary detention.

Some of the men still held at Guantánamo

As a new president is due to enter the White House later this month, we call on you to join us on Monday 11 January to mark this anniversary with an online social media protest. Due to current tier 4 restrictions in London, this event will be held entirely online but you can join in wherever you are in the world.

Please take a photo/make a video/make a banner/share your comment with us via Facebook on our page https://www.facebook.com/London-Guantánamo-Campaign-114010671973111/

or Twitter @shutguantanamo with your message to Joe Biden to close Guantánamo when he takes office. If you do not use Facebook or Twitter, please email us your message and pictures: london.gtmo[at]gmail.com and we will share them for you. The London Guantánamo Campaign is not on Instagram but please feel free to get the conversation going there as well with your friends. Please use the hashtag #GitmoIs19

If you are on Twitter, please join us for a Twitter storm on 11 January at 8-9pm GMT (3-4pm EST). Suggested tweets will be available on our website shortly before on the day.

Suggested tweets for the #GitmoIs19 Twitter storm. Feel free to translate and/or add your own: 

- 780 men and boys, all of them Muslim, have been imprisoned over time at Guantánamo since January 2002. #GitmoIs19

 

- 22 or more Guantánamo prisoners were children when they arrived there. #GitmoIs19

 

- Trump has pardoned convicted murderers serving in the US military or working for private military contractors involved in massacres in Iraq and Afghanistan but has only released one Guantánamo prisoner. #GitmoIs19

 

- 86 percent of Guantánamo prisoners were sold to the United States during a time when the U.S. military was offering large bounties for capture; commonly, $5,000 offered per man. #GitmoIs19

 

- 740 men have been transferred from Guantánamo (including 9 deaths). #GitmoIs19

 

- 40 men remain detained at #Guantánamo: 28 are not charged with any crime or offense. Six of them have been cleared for release but remain imprisoned. #GitmoIs19

 

- More men (9) have died at Guantánamo than have been convicted (8) by the military commissions. #GitmoIs19

 

- 0 senior government officials have been held accountable for the wrongful detention and torture at Guantánamo. #GitmoIs19

 

- 19 years on - #Guantánamo is still not closed & 40 prisoners remain, largely without charge or trial. Will @JoeBiden finally close it? @amnesty new report amn.st/6013Hn2JL #GitmoIs19

 

- As millions of Usians queue for welfare and at foodbanks, remember it costs $13 million to keep each prisoner at #Guantánamo each year. Do you know why they are held there? #GitmoIs19

 

- How many US presidents does it take to close ONE illegal torture and arbitrary detention facility? #GitmoIs19

 

- .@joebiden already has an opportunity to hold the US accountable for the forced disappearances, secret detention and torture of former #Guantanamo prisoners - will he make a difference? http://chrgj.org/2020/12/30/seeking-justice-before-the-inter-american-commission-victims-hand-biden-administration-an-opportunity-to-end-impunity/ #extraordinaryrendition #GitmoIs19 @humanrightsnyu

 

- This is how they beat, rape, starve, humiliate a confession out of you at #Guantanamo https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/6/22/the-torture-of-majid-khan #MajidKhan #GitmoIs19

 

- Close #Guantanamo, end the US’ imperial wars and end the war on terror - #GitmoIs19

 

- The US knew #AbuZubaydah - CIA torture poster boy - was innocent by 2006 but they still tortured him horrifically and he remains at #Guantanamo today without charge or trial. Few people are allowed to see him... https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2016/nov/21/abu-zubaydah-tortures-poster-child/ #GitmoIs19

 

- Guantánamo opened in its current war on terror incarnation on 11 January 2002. Now in its twentieth year, it’s still a thing #GitmoIs19

 

- Trump pardons #warcriminal murderers but allows 40 men to remain at #Guantánamo for almost 20 years, most without charge or trial https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/dec/27/eddie-gallagher-trump-navy-seal-iraq https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/23/trump-pardons-blackwater-contractors-jailed-for-massacre-of-iraq-civilians #GitmoIs19

 

- Vaccines for Covid19 developed in under a year. Justice at #Guantánamo not even being contemplated after two decades #GitmoIs19

 

- Dear @JoeBiden Obama said he wanted to close #Guantanamo too and today we are marking 19 years of Guantanamo where 40 prisoners remain. What will you do to make a difference or is this just talk? #GitmoIs19

 

- #Guantanamo "justice": the kangaroo court where torturers get to justify #CrimesAgainstHumanity & #WarCrimes https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/20/guantanamo-psychologists-cia-torture-program-testify #GitmoIs19

 

- Will @joebiden be the fourth US president to fail to close Guantanamo or one who will make a difference? https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/dec/13/guantanamos-last-inmates-detect-a-glimmer-of-hope-after-19-years-inside #GitmoIs19

 

- US can't protect its citizens against Covid because billions of $$$ in funds diverted to hold 40 men largely without charge or trial at #Guantanamo for almost 2 decades. Such are its priorities #GitmoIs19

 

- Dozens of states around the world were complicit in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition programme and the detention of 100s of Muslim men and boys at #Guantanamo Bay #GitmoIs19 https://www.justiceinitiative.org/publications/globalizing-torture-cia-secret-detention-and-extraordinary-rendition

 

- Who are the 40 men still at #Guantanamo? Most are held without charge or trial almost two decades on #GitmoIs19 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxz3qdeUyOE&feature=youtu.be


- States around the world are silent today on the continuing operation of #Guantanamo Bay as a torture and arbitrary detention camp run by the US. That silence is bought by their complicity #GitmoIs19


#GitmoIs19 - No more anniversaries! Guantá-no-more!


Thursday, December 31, 2020

LGC Newsletter – December 2020

 LGC Newsletter – December 2020

Guantánamo Bay

Yemeni prisoner Said Salih Nashir, 46, is the only prisoner who has been cleared for release by the periodic review board throughout the Trump presidency. In the 18 years Said Salih Nashir has spent at Guantánamo, he has never been charged or tried. The decision recognised his “low level of training and lack of leadership position in Al Qaeda or the Taliban” and while his lawyer considers this progress in a long process, it is unclear if and when he will be released. Five other prisoners were cleared for release by the previous Obama administration but remain at Guantánamo. Only one prisoner has been released – to further detention in Saudi Arabia – by the Trump administration.

https://www.npr.org/2020/12/11/945565473/u-s-clears-for-release-long-time-guantanamo-inmate-never-charged-with-a-crime


While the media and NGOs have expressed optimism over the election of Joe Biden who will become US president in January 2021 and the possibility of Guantánamo closing as a result, his team has yet to make any comments on what his policy will be with respect to the extralegal detention centre which enters its 20th year on 11 January 2021.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/dec/13/guantanamos-last-inmates-detect-a-glimmer-of-hope-after-19-years-inside

https://www.npr.org/2020/12/26/950360626/will-biden-shut-down-guantanamo-bay

At the same time, outgoing President Donald Trump has used his final month in power to issue pardons for allies and war criminals, including four security guards from private military contractor Blackwater, convicted of the deaths of 14 Iraqi civilians, including two children, in Baghdad in 2007 in a massacre, when as part of a “armoured convoy […they] opened fire indiscriminately with machine-guns, grenade launchers and a sniper on a crowd of unarmed people in a square in the Iraqi capital”. One was given a life sentence and the other three sentenced to 30 years in jail. Blackwater was created by Erik Prince, brother of former Trump education secretary and close ally, Betsy DeVos.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/23/trump-pardons-blackwater-contractors-jailed-for-massacre-of-iraq-civilians

 

Extraordinary Rendition

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has said she is dropping the preliminary inquiry into alleged British military war crimes in Iraq, “even though she found a reasonable basis to believe they committed atrocities”. A full investigation was never carried out and the ICC has “concluded that British authorities had examined the allegations”. The allegations include claims of murder, wilful killing, torture and rape. UK investigations have led to the majority of claims being dismissed.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/9/icc-prosecutor-drops-probe-into-alleged-uk-war-crimes-in-iraq

 

LGC Activities:

The London Guantánamo Campaign will hold a special day of protest via social media on Monday 11 January 2021 to mark the nineteenth anniversary of the opening of the Guantánamo Bay detention centre on 11 January 2002 and ahead of the inauguration of the new US president. Please check out our website for further details of how you can get involved via Facebook and Twitter.