Guantánamo Dispatch

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

What We Stand For

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 11:43am
Yesterday was a stark reminder that instead of closing the book on the Bush-era military commissions, President Obama is adding another sad chapter to that history. Although President Obama promised transparency and sharp limits on the use of tortured and coerced statements against the accused, at Guantánamo today one military judge ordered that a sentence be kept secret from the public and another military judge allowed statements obtained by abuse and coercion of a 15-year-old to be used at trial.
Guantánamo's Layers of Lawyers

Guantánamo's Layers of Lawyers

By Rita Cant, Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:38am

In the criminal justice system, we're familiar with two separate yet equally important groups of lawyers. On one side, we have attorneys for the government, who investigate, charge, and prosecute crimes. On the other, we have the defense attorneys,…

Guantánamo Dispatch: Arguing for the First Amendment

Guantánamo Dispatch: Arguing for the First Amendment

By Zach Levine, ACLU National Security Project at 5:18pm

With the world watching, a pre-trial hearing got underway this week in the Guantánamo military commission prosecution of the five alleged 9/11 co-conspirators. Prime among the issues before the military judge was how transparent the commissions…

Force-Feeding at Guantánamo Must End, As Should the Injustice Driving the Hunger Strike

Force-Feeding at Guantánamo Must End, As Should the Injustice Driving the Hunger Strike

By Zachary Katznelson, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 12:14pm

As we have been writing in the past few weeks, the hunger strike in Guantánamo has expanded rapidly...

Report from Guantánamo Hearings: When Due Process is a Matter of Life and Death

Report from Guantánamo Hearings: When Due Process is a Matter of Life and Death

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:39pm

After two lengthy days of arguments, the al-Nashiri case seems hardly closer to coming to trial. Defense counsel suggested the trial wouldn't even begin until 2015.

Efforts to Close Guantánamo Must Be Accompanied By an End to Force-Feeding

Efforts to Close Guantánamo Must Be Accompanied By an End to Force-Feeding

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 11:17am

In nominating Clifford Sloan earlier this week to head the Office of Guantánamo Closure, President Obama took a welcome step toward closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay. However, as the hunger strike at the prison continues, more can and must be…

Guántanamo Dispatch: Improvising Basic Trial Rights

Guántanamo Dispatch: Improvising Basic Trial Rights

By Ian Kysel, Aryeh Neier Fellow, ACLU Human Rights Program at 10:11am

Last week's military commissions proceedings in the trial of Abd al Rahim Al-Nashiri in Guantánamo Bay demonstrates the grave threat to justice posed by an ad hoc approach to a defendant's rights. Life and death decisions—Al-Nashiri could face the…

ACLU Joins Human Rights Coalition Opposing Force-Feeding at Guantánamo

ACLU Joins Human Rights Coalition Opposing Force-Feeding at Guantánamo

By Zachary Katznelson, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 9:30am

The hunger strike in Guantánamo is now in its fourth month. At the military’s latest count, 100 of the 166 prisoners are on strike, motivated in large part by their indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial. Twenty-nine of those men are being…

Guantánamo Prisoner's Memoirs Offer Rare First-Person Account of Torture

Guantánamo Prisoner's Memoirs Offer Rare First-Person Account of Torture

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:31pm

A detailed and harrowing first-person narrative of a prisoner's experiences in Guantánamo is available to the public for the first time: Slate today published a three-part series of excerpts from The Guantánamo Memoirs of Mohamedou Ould Slahi. The…

Time to End the Despair at Guantánamo

Time to End the Despair at Guantánamo

By Zachary Katznelson, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 5:29pm

The hunger strike in Guantánamo continues to grow, even by the U.S. military's questionable count. The military states that 100 of the 166 prisoners there are on strike, 21 are being force-fed, and five have been hospitalized. Lawyers for the prisoners…

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