Guantánamo

Black Sites? What's That? Torture? Us?

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 5:58pm
Last week, the Department of State (DOS) released a huge tranche of documents on its website in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights and NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. There's a lot of stuff to wade through, but we found some gems.

Jawad Released Home to Afghanistan

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 1:01pm

After nearly seven years in U.S. custody, Mohammed Jawad was released and flown home to Afghanistan over the weekend. One of his defense attorneys, Marine Maj. Eric Montalvo, accompanied Jawad as a private citizen on this trip home.

The…

Jawad Released Home to Afghanistan

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 1:01pm

After nearly seven years in U.S. custody, Mohammed Jawad was released and flown home to Afghanistan over the weekend. One of his defense attorneys, Marine Maj. Eric Montalvo, accompanied Jawad as a private citizen on this trip home.

The…

U.S. General Calls for Release of Most Bagram Detainees

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 1:52pm

This morning, NPR reported that Marine Maj. Gen. Doug Stone has released a 700-page report to military officials about the detainees at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. The doozy: in his opinion, 400 of the 600 detainees currently at detention center…

Accountability for Torture Panel at Netroots Nation

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 4:44pm

The ACLU was in Pittsburgh last week for Netroots Nation, and National Security Project staff attorney Melissa Goodman joined a panel with the Center for Constitutional Rights' (CCR) Vince Warren, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Firedoglake's…

ACLU to Government: Shed Some Light on Bagram

By Ateqah Khaki at 12:52pm

Today, we sent a letter to the Department of Defense (DOD), asking them to reconsider their refusal to turn over information about the detention facility at Bagram in Afghanistan. The request is connected to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request…

Government Asks Supreme Court to Hear Torture Photos Case

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 6:13pm

Today the Obama Justice Department petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of a federal court ruling that they must turn over photos depicting the abuse of prisoners in U.S. custody overseas.

An appeals court had soundly…

Meanwhile, on a Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay…

By Ateqah Khaki at 5:52pm

Yesterday, White House Homeland Security Chief John Brennan indicated the Obama administration might not meet President Obama’s January 22, 2010, deadline to close the detention center at Guantánamo Bay. When asked about the president’s…

Freedom for Jawad?

By Anna Christensen, National Security Project at 4:58pm

After nearly seven years of illegal detention and abuse at the hands of the U.S. government, Guantánamo Bay detainee Mohammed Jawad has won his habeas corpus case, which challenged his detention by the U.S. government. In a long-awaited…

Obama Administration Must Abandon Force-Feeding at Gitmo

By Nahal Zamani, Human Rights Program at 1:48pm

The medical professionals worked to strap the detainee "into a chair, Velcro his head to a metal restraint, then tether a tube into the man's stomach through his nose to pump in liquid nourishment twice a day."

After the Miami Herald wrote about the 30 hunger striking detainees in the Guantánamo Bay detention camps in January, we were concerned. We wrote an urgent letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates to bring his attention to the cruel, inhuman, degrading and unlawful treatment of the 30 hunger striking detainees. In that letter, we pointed out that hunger strikes were indications of a larger problem concerning the conditions of confinement at the detention camp. A week later, Amnesty International, Human Rights First and Human Rights Watch joined us in writing to President Obama requesting full access to the detention facility at Guantánamo to independently examine and report on conditions of confinement. We still have not received an answer to our request.

When President Obama issued an executive order calling on the Department of Defense (DOD) to investigate conditions of confinement at Guantánamo and whether they conformed to Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and to "other applicable laws," we hoped that the DOD report would shed some light on the actual conditions at the camp and the role of medical personnel during interrogations and forced feedings.

One month later, the DOD report came out and the DOD – unsurprisingly, since the DOD was policing itself – claimed that conditions at Gitmo were in compliance with the Geneva Conventions. We knew this was a total whitewash, and that a real independent assessment would be necessary to ascertain the actual conditions at Guantánamo.

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