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Guantánamo Bay: 10 Years Of Injustice

last updated Jan 18, 2012

In January 2002, the US administration brought the first detainees of the so called ‘War on Terror‘ to Guantánamo Bay’s detention facility. Ten years later, and despite President Barack Obama’s pledge to close the centre by January 2010, 171 of the 779 detainees held in total are still kept on the island.

The Guantánamo Bay detention centre has been continuously criticised by UN experts and NGOs for torture and inhuman treatment and conditions of detention, and its failure to provide detainees with access to justice. So far, only one detainee has been transferred before an ordinary federal court while others have been convicted by military commissions or released without charge. A large amount of the remaining detainees have been cleared for release, but are still imprisoned.


The Obama administration’s efforts to close the detention facility have been hampered by the Congress repeatedly. However, on 31 December 2011, President Obama himself reduced the hopes for the remaining detainees to be released when he signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), allowing for 48 detainees who can neither be prosecuted nor released to be held in indefinite detention without criminal trial or charge.


Amnesty International has called Guantánamo Bay a “symbol of torture”, and has highlighted that so far there has been nearly no accountability for any crimes committed by the Bush administration in the framework of the ‘War on Terror’.


Below, you find a selection of relevant articles and videos, as well as two projects we would like to draw your attention to:


‘Let’s get Mustafa a copy shop', a project supporting Mustafa Ait Idir, former Guantánamo detainee who was held for almost seven years without charge at the centre, during which he was tortured. The project is aimed at raising funds so that Mustafa can open a copy shop in Sarajevo and start his own professional life, overcome the trauma of the arbitrary detention he was victim of, and the stigma of being a former Guantánamo detainee.


‘Close Guantánamo’: American journalist Andy Worthington, joined by prominent human rights experts among others, created a website dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the detention centre, and a petition to request the US President to close the prison.


Amnesty International: Guantánamo: A decade of damage to human rights


Human Rights Watch: US: Make Guantanamo’s 10th Anniversary Its Last


ACLU:Guantanamo by the Numbers


The Washington Post: Imagining a world without Guantanamo


Harper's Magazine: Gitmo at Ten


ORF ZIB 24: Dr. Julia Kozma on Guantanamo Bay's Anniversary


Atlas of Torture Project

Final Comparative Report published

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