Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Forum on Torture, Guantanamo & Accountability-in Chicago

For those of you who can't be bother listending to Obama tonight come and hear:
Prof. M. Cherif Bassiouni, President Emeritus of the International Human Rights Law Institute, UN human rights expert in Afghanistan, & author of "The Institutionalization of Torture by the Bush Administration" (2010), refute George Bush’s claim in his memoir that the torture committed with his approval was legal because his lawyers told him so;
(me) H. Candace Gorman, attorney for a Guantanamo prisoner, describe the torture detainees there endure and the ongoing imprisonment of 173 men at Guantanamo, despite President Obama’s pledge to close it;
and, Debra Sweet, national director of World Can’t Wait, describe actions this month to close Guantanamo and issue a challenge to be part of resisting the crimes being done by the U.S. government in our name.
The discussion will be moderated by Ben Meyer, member of Amnesty International and the National Lawyers Guild.

This event is co-sponsored by World Can't Wait, Amnesty International, and the DePaul College of Law Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild

6:00 pm * Tuesday * January 25

DePaul University College of Law
Rm 341, Lewis Center
25 E. Jackson Blvd, Chicago

Want to know more? Listen here

Berkeley Panel Tomorrow with be livestreamed....

INVITE: Amnesty International Panel Discussion With Former Guantanamo Detainee – Wed, Jan 26th 7:30-9:00pm at UC Berkeley

Amnesty International USA would like to invite you to attend an exceptional panel discussion on Torture and Guantánamo Bay. In recognition of the two years that have passed since the Presidential Order to close Guantánamo, the goal of this event is to bring attention to the human rights violations that have occurred at Guantánamo Bay and to discuss its intended closure.

This expert speakers' panel will feature Omar Deghayes, a former Guantánamo detainee who has never been charged or convicted by any authority, who will participate via video conference from Brighton, England; Attorney Candace Gorman, whose Civil and Constitutional Rights work has included representing two Guantánamo detainees; and Professor Almerindo Ojeda from the UC Davis Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas http://humanrights.ucdavis.edu, which hosts the Guantánamo Testimonials Project. There will be a short Q&A session after the panel discussion. Please see links to articles below about Omar Deghayes and Candace Gorman.

The event will be held at the University of California Berkeley on Wednesday, January 26th from 7:30pm – 9:00pm at 2050 Valley Life Sciences Building.

The event is co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center, Health Professionals Against Torture, Survivors International, United Nations Association USA East Bay Chapter, Boalt Hall International Human Rights Clinic, Boalt Hall Committee for Human Rights, Amnesty International UC Berkeley Student Chapter and the Boalt Alliance Against Torture. The event is free and open to the public.

(Exciting news: Because of many requests from our supporters the event will also be a live webcast at www.livestream.com/amnestywest Please spread the word that now anyone can view the event live online. We will also film the event and put it on YouTube.)


How I fought to survive Guantánamo - Omar Deghayes

Why I am Representing a "Detainee" at Guantanamo - Candace Gorman

Sunday, January 23, 2011

190 DEAD and still counting............

On October 16, 2009, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the government seeking all records relating to the deaths of detainees in U.S. custody as part of the so-called “war on terror.” On January 14, 2011, the government released its first batch of documents consisting of 2,624 pages, which include approximately 124 autopsy reports and 133 Reports of Investigation by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command. All told, the documents describe the death of approximately 190 detainees in U.S. custody under varying circumstances.

Documents released by the government:

[Link to] Autopsy Reports:

> Autopsy Reports (pages 1-1132) (63 MB)

[Links to] Reports of Investigation:

> 1 (pages 1-204) (31 MB)
> 2 (pages 205-402) (82 MB)
> 3 (pages 403-494, 531-604) (21 MB)
> 4 (pages 605-802) (90 MB)
> 5 (pages 803-1007) (72 MB)
> 6 (pages 1008-1214) (75 MB)
> 7 (pages 1215-1349) (54 MB)
> 8 (pages 1350-1488) (53 MB)
> 9 (pages 1489-1530) (8 MB)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Andy Worthington reviews my client's plight....

I guess I should mention that I have not spoken to Andy about the case at all....
Read his analysis here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Australia opens probe into US renditions....

As Scott Horton reports:
"Mamdouh Habib, an Egyptian-born Australian citizen, traveled to Pakistan in 2001, seeking work and religious schooling for his children. On October 5, 2001, he was arrested by Pakistani police while traveling by bus to Karachi. After several months of interrogation, he was sent to Egypt for five months, where he says he was subjected to intense torture including being shocked with high-voltage wires, hung from metal hooks on walls, and beaten. From Egypt he was transported to Guantánamo where he became prisoner No. 661. He was accused by U.S. authorities of having been in Afghanistan and having had advance knowledge of the September 11 attacks. American authorities subsequently conceded, however, that they had no evidence to support these accusations. The Australian government sought Habib’s return, and on January 28, 2005, he was returned and became a free man."

Who needs evidence you might ask when the person detained is a Muslim....found near Afghanistan? Unfortunately the governments of my country and Australia (and several others) didn't need any evidence....what helped Mr. Habid is the fact that an Egyptian intelligence person came forward and admitted Australians were complicit....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Talking Dog interviews Laurel Fletcher

Laurel Fletcher is a Clinical Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School. She is also a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall) and is director of the school’s International Human Rights Law Clinic. She is also the author, with Eric Stover, of “The Guantanamo Effect: Exposing the Consequences of U.S. Detention and Interrogation Practices,” which provides the findings of a two-year study of former detainees who were held in U.S. custody in Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Read the talking dog's interview here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Well the good judge ruled in my clients case. Read the unclassified decision here. I will have more to say at some point in the future.

Meanwhile hear what one of Abu Zubaydah's attorneys has to say about his own client's detention here.

and I leave you with this........

Anniversary message from REPRIEVE

Today is the 9th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo Bay and marks two years since President Obama promised to close the prison and seek justice for its inmates. Yet instead of closing the prison, last Friday President Obama signed a bill blocking its closure and condemning its prisoners to indefinite detention without trial.

The 173 prisoners still trapped inside now have little hope of either trial or release after the US Congress inserted provisions into the bill that are explicitly designed to prevent even cleared prisoners from leaving.

The disastrous Defense Authorization bill includes a ban on using funds to transfer Guantánamo prisoners to the US mainland to face criminal trials, a ban on using funds to buy or build a prison on the US mainland to hold Guantánamo prisoners and a ban on the release of any prisoner cleared for release by the Obama Administration’s Guantánamo Review Task Force to countries considered dangerous by Congress.

As a result:

  • 89 prisoners cleared for release by the Task Force will remain imprisoned without charge or trial;
  • 58 of those cleared prisoners remain imprisoned simply because they are Yemenis, due to a moratorium on releasing any Yemen nationals;
  • 31 of those cleared prisoners remain imprisoned largely because they cannot be safely repatriated due to a substantial risk of torture; for many the stain of Guantánamo would vastly increase the risk of persecution;
  • 33 prisoners recommended for trials by the Task Force will, for the most part, remain imprisoned without trial.

As you can imagine, this is a very dark time for prisoners in Guantánamo. Please consider writing to someone being held there to offer your support. All the information you need to do so is on our website.

Thank you, as ever, for your support,

The Reprieve Team

Friday, January 7, 2011

As Guantanamo enters its 10th year join in the protests





Anti-Torture activists to rally at the White House and march to the Justice Department as the prison at Guantánamo enters its 10th year; March to be led by 173 “detainees” wearing hoods and jumpsuits to represent the 173 men still held at Guantánamo.

The protest on the 11th will be followed by 10 days of fasting, lobbying,and demonstrating in Washington, D.C.

*Witness Against Torture* demands include:

- Close the prison at Guantánamo Bay;

- Free all prisoners who have been cleared for release, ensuring their safe resettlement and providing asylum in the U.S. for those unable to go elsewhere;

- Produce charges against all other prisoners and prosecute them in U.S. courts;

- Open all detention centers to outside scrutiny. That includes accepting the oversight of the International Committee of the Red Cross of all facilities; and

- Conduct a comprehensive criminal inquiry against all those who designed and carried out torture policies under the Bush administration.

Who: Witness Against Torture and co-sponsors

Event: Rally, “prisoner procession” to Department of Justice, and non-violent direct action

Date and Time: Tues, Jan. 11, beginning at 11am

Location: The White House, Washington, D.C.