Guantánamo Dispatch

Updates and analysis from ACLU attorneys in Cuba observing the proceedings of the Guantánamo Bay military commissions.

The Victims

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 5:07pm
Yesterday was an emotional day of testimony from widow Tabitha Speer and Omar Khadr. As a reminder, on Monday, Khadr pled guilty as part of a plea agreement to all of the charges against him, including throwing a grenade that killed Sgt. Christopher Speer eight years ago. We are now in the sentencing phase of the case.

Reasonable Doubt

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 3:21pm

Opening statements began in the first trial under Obama's military commisions yesterday, and the prosecution called their first two witnesses against Canadian Omar Khadr. The youngest of Guantanamo's remaining 176 detainees, Khadr was captured in Afghanistan…

Trial Under Guantánamo's Rules

By Ahilan Arulanantham, Deputy Legal Director, ACLU of Southern California at 3:38pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

I spent the morning of my second full day at Guantánamo observing the military commission hearing of Sudanese national Noor Uthman Muhammed. Muhammed was charged in December 2008 with murder in violation…

A Nightmare for Justice in the Middle of the Caribbean

By Ahilan Arulanantham, Deputy Legal Director, ACLU of Southern California at 1:50pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

I've come to Guantánamo as an ACLU representative to observe a Military Commission hearing for a detainee named Noor Uthman Muhammed. I'm one of four "NGO monitors" who has come down for them…

Interrogator One

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 12:08am

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

Bombshell Testimony from Bagram Interrogator Convicted of Abuse, Reporters Banned from Gitmo for Reporting his Name

On Thursday, pretrial hearings continued in the case of Canadian Omar…

Taxi to the Dark Side

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 12:40pm

Hearings continued Monday and Tuesday in the case of Canadian Omar Khadr, the last Western national still being held at Guantánamo. Now 23, Khadr was 15 when he was captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan for allegedly throwing a grenade…

Making It Up As We Go Along

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 6:25pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

At least 30 journalists and human rights observers descended on Guantánamo this week to witness the pretrial hearings in the case of Canadian Omar Khadr. Now 23, Khadr was 15 when he was captured by…

One Step Forward; Two Steps Back

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 4:25pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

An unavoidable consequence of creating a new and ad hoc justice system on the fly is that issues that would be simple and routine in an ordinary criminal trial end up raising questions that are novel and highly…

The End of the Beginning? Or the Beginning of the End?

By Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:04pm

Nearly four years have passed since I first traveled to Guantánamo to observe proceedings in the military commission prosecution of Canadian Omar Khadr, who was 15 years old when seized in Afghanistan and has now spent fully a third of his life…

A Plea to Obama, from Guantánamo

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 11:35am

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

Yesterday marked the final military commission hearing before the eve of President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration. The question of what will become of Guantánamo was a subject of much speculation…

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