Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Guantanamo Prisoners Protest on 10th Anniversary of US Gulag

A report from Democracy Now on a protest and hunger strike by prisoners at Guantánamo on this 10th anniversary of the opening of the detention center.

Other stories and reports about Guantánamo are widely available on this depressing anniversary, including:

"It was a sunny day"
- an article by Jason Leopold at Truthout, who interviews former Guantánamo guard Brandon Neely on his experiences in the early days of the camp's opening.

Live From Guantánamo - Truthout op-ed by Center for Constitutional Rights Senior Staff Attorney, Wells Dixon, who is currently in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba visiting one of his clients.

“Close Guantánamo” Campaign and Website Launches: Retired Military Personnel, Lawyers Call for the Closure of Guantánamo After 10 Years - Article by Andy Worthington, who has reported more on Guantánamo than just about anyone else.

What's Ahead for Guantanamo Camps in New Decade? - by McClatchy reporter Carol Rosenberg, who has covered Guantanamo since the detention center's opening

This Gitmo Anniversary Needs to Be about Bagram, Too - by blogger Marcy Wheeler, who reminds us that the fate of Guantanamo is inextricably tied to other US detention sites where indefinite detention has become the new normal.

Guantanamo Bay: A Wound We Won't Let Heal - article by Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic, chronicling the story of one of the prisoners, Mustafa Ait Idr. (I wrote about the water torture inflicted on Idr at Guantanamo in an article at Truthout last August.)

The Guantánamo facility at 10: an assault on our constitutional government - an op-ed by Todd E. Pierce at the National Law Journal

“None of these cleared [Gitmo] prisoners is likely to leave any time soon..." - by Gotta Laff at The Political Carnival, highlighting a LA Times op-ed on the case of Guantanamo prisoner Fayiz al-Kandari (see also the Facebook page, "Free Fayiz and Fawzi")

An Innocent Man in Guantanamo
- an ACLU podcast interview with Lakhdar Boumediene, who spent over 7 years without charges or trial in the Guantanamo hell. (See also ACLU's new webpage, Close Gitmo.)

Shut Down Guantánamo on its 10th Anniversary! - Center for Constitutional Rights, who was in the forefront in providing legal representation to Guantanamo prisoners, has a webpage up with news and actions, meeting, etc.

Guantanamo Remembered - the UK charity, Reprieve, which has also been instrumental in providing legal representation to Guantanamo prisoners, has posted videos of former Guantanamo detainees speaking about their memories of those still imprisoned there, like the last British man held there, Shaker Aamer, who has never been charged with an offense, and who was tortured at Bagram and Guantanamo. (The video is embedded for viewing below.)

See also the UK schedule of events surrounding the 10th anniversary at the Cageprisoners website. has also posted a number of photos of Guantanamo's detention facilities in a nod to the 10th anniversary.

And this late addition (h/t Jason Leopold), Dahlia Lithwick at Slate, "The Great Gitmo Blackout":
In the foreign press they are saying that the camp “weighs heavily on America’s conscience” and that “the shame of Guantanamo remains.” But most Americans are experiencing the anniversary without much conscience or shame; just with the same sense of inevitability and invisibility that has pervaded the entire 10-year existence of the camp itself: inevitability in that we somehow believe the camp was truly necessary and nobody ever really expects the conflict to be resolved; and invisibility in that nobody really knows what’s happening there, or why....

It’s hard to say anything new about 10 full years of Guantanamo, beyond the fact that most of what we wrote two, four, and seven years ago still holds mostly true. But given that Americans have an increasingly hard time thinking about the camp, and the rest of the world can think about little else, perhaps we can agree that pretending it isn’t there probably isn’t the answer.

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