Guantanamo Topics

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Democracy Now! has regularly covered the stories of those imprisoned at the U.S. detention facility located in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, since former President George W. Bush began the so-called "war on terror." The first captives arrived at the detention camp on January 11, 2002.

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    Four years after vowing to close Guantánamo and 11 years after it opened, President Obama has signed the National Defense Authorization Act, barring the use of federal funds to transfer detainees from the notorious prison to U.S. soil. Of the 166 prisoners remaining at Guantánamo, 86 have been cleared for release. Obama says he signed the NDAA’s renewal despite his objections to the Guantánamo provisions and maintained in a signing statement...
    Jan 08, 2013 | Story
  • Samialhajj
    On the 11th anniversary of Guantánamo Bay’s use as a prison for foreign detainees, we air a Democracy Now! exclusive interview with Sami al-Hajj, the only journalist held at Guantánamo. The Al Jazeera cameraman was arrested in Pakistan in December of 2001 while traveling to Afghanistan on a work assignment. Held for six years without charge, al-Hajj was repeatedly tortured, hooded, attacked by dogs and hung from a ceiling. Interrogators...
    Jan 08, 2013 | Story
  • Marcy
    The Obama administration has filed an emergency appeal of a federal judge’s decision to block a controversial statute that gave the government the power to carry out indefinite detention. Judge Katherine Forrest ruled against a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, authorizing the imprisonment of anyone deemed a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world without charge or trial. A group of journalists, scholars and political...
    Sep 18, 2012 | Story
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    The Supreme Court has refused to hear any new Guantánamo appeals even though half of the men being held were cleared for release five years ago. Critics of Monday’s decision say it leaves the fate of prisoners — many of them long cleared for release — in the hands of a conservative D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has constantly sided with military prosecutors and refused to order the release of any prisoner. The high court...
    Jun 12, 2012 | Story
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    The military tribunal established to prosecute the five leading suspects in the September 11th attacks opened this weekend at Guantánamo Bay. During a nine-hour hearing on Saturday, the five prisoners refused to enter pleas on murder and terrorism charges, or to talk or listen to the judge, in what one of their lawyers explained was a "peaceful resistance to an unjust system." Defense attorneys say the trial for the five leading suspects...
    May 08, 2012 | Story
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    Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges has filed suit against President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes controversial provisions authorizing the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world, without charge or trial. Sections of the bill are written so broadly that critics say they could encompass journalists...
    Jan 17, 2012 | Story
  • Ten years ago, Omar Deghayes and Morris Davis would have struck anyone as an odd pair. While they have never met, they now share a profound connection, cemented through their time at the notorious U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
    Jan 12, 2012 | Columns & Articles
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    Detainees at the U.S. military base at Guantánamo Bay launched a hunger strike today marking the prison’s 10th anniversary, inspired in part by U.S. activists who have called for a national day of action. "They will be staging a series of peaceful protests that will involve sit-ins with signs and banners in the part of the prison that has communal areas, as well as hunger strikes," says Ramzi Kassem, counsel to a number of Guantánamo...
    Jan 10, 2012 | Story
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    On the 10th anniversary of when the United States began detaining terror suspects at its Guantánamo Bay military base in Cuba, we speak with a former prisoner and the ex-chief U.S. prosecutor, who both call for the Obama administration to close the base. "People are locked up in isolation camps... People lost their hands, lost their eyes, lost their limbs," says Omar Deghayes, who was arrested in Pakistan as a terror suspect and held...
    Jan 10, 2012 | Story
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    It has been 10 years since the United States began detaining people at its military base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. We speak with someone who has worked to defend the rights of those prisoners for the last decade: Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights. While dozens continue to face an unknown future at Guantánamo, we ask Ratner to comment on President Obama’s recent approval of the National Defense Authorization...
    Jan 10, 2012 | Story