End 21 Years Of Injustice

Welcome to "Close Guantánamo"

20 of the 35 men still held at Guantánamo, who have all been approved for release by high-level government review processes, but who, shamefully, have not yet been freed.

Welcome to the Close Guantánamo website.

Jan. 11, 2023 marked the 21st anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, and we are pleased to have been one of over 150 rights groups who sent a letter to President Biden urging him to close the prison without further delay. See our article here for events marking this sad and shameful occasion, for which we were particularly focusing on the 20 men still held (as shown above), who have been approved for release but have not been freed. We'll be continuing this campaign throughout 2023 until these men are freed.

Thanks also to everyone taking part in our ongoing photo campaign. Via our Gitmo Clock initiative, which counts in real time how long Guantánamo has been open, we received over 150 photos with our poster marking 7,671 days of Guantánamo's existence on Jan. 11. The anniversary photos are here and continue on a second page for 2023 here. The next poster marks 7,700 days of the prison's existence on Feb. 9, 2023. Please take a photo with it, and send it to us.

Donations to support the work of the Close Guantánamo campaign in 2023 are welcome and are greatly encouraged. Please click on the "Donate" button below to pay via PayPal.

If you can make a regular monthly donation, please tick the box marked, "Make this a monthly donation," and fill in the amount you wish to donate every month.

Our co-founders, Thomas Wilner and Andy Worthington, were involved in a number of events to mark the anniversary (see the full list here), and please find below the video of them discussing the 21st anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo in an online event at New America, in Washington, D.C., also featuring Karen Greenberg.

Please also check out the video of Andy discussing Guantánamo's 21st anniversary with former prisoner Moazzam Begg and Anas Altikriti, the CEO and founder of the Cordoba Foundation, in the first broadcast of a new English language show, "The London Circle," produced by the Arabic news channel Al Hiwar TV.

Please also feel free to listen, on Bandcamp, to "Forever Prisoner," Andy's song, recorded with his band The Four Fathers, which was released in August 2022. Because of delays caused by Covid, the process of recording this song coincided with Khaled finally being approved for release from Guantánamo, but as Andy explains, Khaled has now joined a queue of 20 men approved for release who are still held, but as there is no legal mechanism that requires the U.S. government to release any of these men, it may be worthwhile, and accurate, to regard them all as "forever prisoners," along with the three remaining men who have neither been charged nor approved for release.

In July 2021, the first prisoner was released from Guantánamo under President Biden: Abdul Latif Nasser, a Moroccan national who was approved for release in 2016. See the story here. In March 2022, a second prisoner was released by Biden: Mohammed al-Qahtani, who was sent back to Saudi Arabia to receive the psychiatric care for his schizophrenia that was not available at Guantánamo, and a third prisoner, Sufyian Barhoumi, was repatriated to Algeria at the start of April. A fourth prisoner, Asadullah Haroon Gul, was released in Afghanistan in June, and in October Saifullah Paracha, Guantánamo's oldest prisoner, became the fifth prisoner to be released under Biden, when he was flown home to Pakistan. Please do bear in mind, however, that these five releases are not enough.

We also continue to extend our congratulations to former Guantánamo prisoner Mansoor Adayfi, whose astonishingly powerful memoir, "Don't Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantánamo," written with the writer and editor Antonio Aiello, was published by Hachette Books in August 2021. Check out our co-founder Andy Worthington's review here.

Who we are and why we care

We are a group of lawyers, journalists, retired military personnel and concerned citizens seeking to close the "war on terror" prison at Guantánamo Bay, where 35 men are still held, 20 of whom have been cleared for release (while another man also awaits release after completing a sentence on March 1 last year).

January 11, 2023 was the 21st anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, and the start of its 22nd year of operations. This is an anniversary that should never have come to pass.

The prison at Guantánamo Bay is an abominable experiment in indefinite detention, which poisons America's claim to be a nation that believes in justice. Of the 20 men still held but approved for release, three have been waiting to be freed for 13 years, which is unforgivable, another was approved for release at the end of the Trump presidency by a Periodic Review Board, a process established in 2013 to review the cases of all the prisoners not already approved for release or facing trials, and 16 other men have been approved for release by PRBs since President Biden took office. Another man, Majid Khan, is awaiting release after serving a sentence that was part of a plea deal in his military commission trial. Please be aware, though, that approving men for release means nothing unless they are actually freed.

Just 11 men are facing or have faced trials, while the others (three men in total) have been aptly described as "forever prisoners," recommended for ongoing imprisonment without charge or trial by the PRBs. Check out our full list of the PRBs here, and please also feel free to look at our full prisoner list, identifying the 35 men still held, and incorporating the decisions about whether they should be freed, tried or held indefinitely.

Please encourage President Biden and your Senators and Representatives to support our call to close the prison. Let them know that, while the prison remains open, it undermines America's values and national security. You can send a message to the White House here, and you can find your Senators here, and your Representatives here.

Join us now to help end this injustice and restore the rule of law. We call on President Biden to close Guantánamo, and will continue to do so until it is closed for good. Your voice matters.

Thank you for your commitment and support, and thank you for your interest in bringing this dark chapter in modern U.S. history to an end. Please see our mission statement for a more detailed analysis of why Guantánamo must be closed, and to see the list of prominent individuals and organizations who have signed it.


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Close Guantanamo - End 11 Years of Injustice