17 years on, Guantanamo remains a blot on the human conscience

Friday 11 January marks the 17th anniversary of the confinement of the first detainees at the notorious Guantanamo Bay detention facility in the US. The internment camp was established by President George W. Bush shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States as part of his country’s “War on Terror”. Since then Guantanamo has become a byword for torture, rendition and indefinite detention without charge or trial. Guantanamo once held more than 650 Muslim men; today, some 40 still remain, nicknamed “forever prisoners”. Nine detainees have died at Guantanamo, including seven from apparent suicide. Despite a pledge by President Obama to close the facility it remains open. In January last year President Trump signed an executive order to keep the camp open indefinitely.

Here are some resources on Guantanamo Bay:

Guantanamo as an affront to basic human rights 

Q&A on the film Zone of Non-Being: Guantanamo

Q&A with the film’s producer and some of the contributors. 

Documentary: Zone of None-Being: Guantanamo

This argues that detention on Guantanamo Bay is not an exceptional act but part of a long history of racism and colonialism that can be traced back to 1492.  

Guantanamo 10: Playlist of conference videos

2012 conference organised by IHRC, CAGE and Reprieve

Speakers include Massoud Shadjareh, Michael Ratner, Clive Stafford Smith, Victoria Brittain, Vanessa Redgrave

Guantánamo at 10: The rise and rise of US exceptionalism and the downfall of human rights 

Guantanamo Human Rights Commission visit to US, 2004