Guantánamo Dispatch

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

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 excerpts were culled from a manuscript hundreds of pages in length, which Slahi provided his attorneys, a pro bono team of ACLU and other lawyers. After being classified for years, Slahi's memoirs – of arrest, rendition, torture, and imprisonment without charge or trial – are finally seeing the light of day, albeit with some redactions.

The Monster of Bagram

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 1:40pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

On Wednesday pretrial hearings continued in the case of Canadian Omar Khadr. Captured at age 15 in Afghanistan and now held for fully a third of his life in U.S. detention, Khadr is currently scheduled for…

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...

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…

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,…

Reporting from Guantánamo: The five uns

Reporting from Guantánamo: The five uns

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 4:10pm

In Guantánamo Bay last week, I had an enlightening opportunity to talk with Brigadier General Mark Martins—the Chief Prosecutor of the military commissions—along with a handful of other NGO observers of the commissions. There…

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.

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…

Khadr Accepts Plea Deal, Trial Averted

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 3:44pm

Earlier today, Omar Khadr pled guilty to all charges against him, averting a full-blown military commissions trial that was slated to restart today. A sentencing hearing will commence tomorrow. (But like Ibrahim al-Qosi before him, his actual sentence…

Guantánamo Dispatch: A Hard-Earned Trust in Peril

Guantánamo Dispatch: A Hard-Earned Trust in Peril

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 2:25pm

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — What would it take for you to trust a stranger with your life?

For most of us, this question is merely rhetorical, but for criminal defendants facing the death penalty, it could not be more concrete. To be effective…

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