End 21 Years Of Injustice

Welcome to "Close Guantánamo"

Speakers, including former prisoners, lawyers, a U.N. Rapporteur and our co-founder Andy Worthington at "Close Guantánamo!", a meeting held in the European Parliament in Brussels on September 28, 2023. Please read Andy's report here, and see below for videos of this extraordinary event, and of Andy's speech.

The video of the "Close Guantánamo!" event at the European Parliament in Brussels on September 28, 2023.

The video of Andy Worthington's speech at the "Close Guantánamo!" event at the European Parliament in Brussels on September 28, 2023.

16 of the 30 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. See below for information about our ongoing campaigning to get these men freed, and please also read our co-founder Andy Worthington's annotated edit of the measured, forensic and absolutely devastating report about Guantánamo by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism, which was released on June 26. Please also read Andy's latest articles, about a devastating ruling against the government by a trial judge in the military commission pre-trial hearings for torture victim Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, and about a Sanity Board's ruling in the case of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, one of the 9/11 co-accused (which also includes trenchant criticism of President Biden's refuse to endorse plea deals in the 9/11 trial), and please also consider writing to the men still held, to relieve their profound isolation, which is one of the many profound and ongoing problems with the prison that was highlighted in the U.N. report.

Welcome to the Close Guantánamo website.

Donations to support the work of the Close Guantánamo campaign throughout the rest of 2023 and into 2024 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.

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. In February, our co-founder Andy Worthington began organizing monthly coordinated global vigils calling for the closure of the prison, which are particularly focused on the ongoing plight of the 16 men still held (as shown above), who have been approved for release but have not been freed.

Follow the links for reports about and photos from the global vigils on March 8, April 5, May 3, June 7, July 5, August 2, September 6, October 4 and November 1.

We'll be continuing this campaign throughout 2023 and into 2024, on the first Wednesday of every month, until these men are freed. The next vigils are on December 6.

Also see three other recent and significant articles: The Broken Old Men of Guantánamo, about the 14 men still held who have not been approved for release, and what the U.S. government can and should do with them, given that many have significant physical and/or mental health problems relating to their torture, or to the inadequacy of medical care at the prison; U.N. Condemns 21-Year Imprisonment of Abu Zubaydah as Arbitrary Detention and Suggests that Guantánamo’s Detention System “May Constitute Crimes Against Humanity”, about a devastating opinion issued by the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; and U.N. Condemns Arbitrary Detention of Guantánamo Prisoner and Torture Victim Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri, and Calls for His Release, about a second devastating opinion by the Working Group.

Also see The Man They Never Knew: Said Bakush Is Repatriated from Guantánamo to Algeria; 30 Men Now Remain, 16 Also Approved for Release, about the latest release from the prison, and Guantánamo and the U.S. Courts: When Is A War Not Over? Apparently, When It’s the "War on Terror", about an important case argued in the District Court in Washington, D.C. by Tom Wilner, which, shamefully, has been completed ignored by the mainstream media. The case involves Khalid Qassim, well known as one of Guantánamo's talented artists, and Tom is trying to get a judge to recognize that, with the definitive end of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, the government no longer has any legal right to continue holding Khalid.

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, along with photos from 7,700 days, on Feb. 9, 7,800 days on May 20, and 7,900 days on August 28. The poster for 8,000 days, on December 6, is here, and we're hoping to make this particularly sad milestone into a significant occasion. Please take a photo with it, and send it to us.

Our co-founders, Thomas Wilner and Andy Worthington, were involved in a number of events to mark the anniversary (see the full list here). Below is 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.

As February began, we received the welcome news that, almost eleven months after his terrorism-related military commission sentence came to an end, Majid Khan had been released from Guantánamo and resettled in Belize. Sadly, however, although two other men, the Rabbani brothers from Pakistan, who had been approved for release through high-level government review processes, were subsequently freed on Feb. 23, Ghassan Al-Sharbi, a Saudi, was repatriated on Mar. 8, and Said Bakush, the last Algerian in the prison, was sent home in April, the 16 other men approved for release continue to be held because the recommendations to free them were purely administrative, and have no legal weight. As a result, the men cannot appeal to the courts if, as is happening, the government is dragging its heels when it comes to securing their release. See below for the video of Andy discussing this shameful situation on Al Jazeera News.

And see below for Andy discussing Col. Acosta's devastating ruling against the government in the case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri with Kevin Gosztola and Rania Khalek on their "Unauthorized Disclosure" podcast in August.

Please also feel free to listen, on Bandcamp, to "Forever Prisoner," Andy's song about Khalid Qassim, 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 Khalid finally being approved for release from Guantánamo. As Andy explains, however, he has now joined a queue of 16 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 them, 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. In February 2023, as noted above, a sixth prisoner was freed, when Pakistani national Majid Khan, whose terrorism-related sentence ended on March 1, 2022, was resettled in Belize. Khan was the first "high-value detainee" to be freed from the prison, and the first released prisoner to be resettled in a third country under President Biden. On Feb. 23, as also noted above, Ahmed and Abdul Rahim Rabbani, approved for release in 2021, were also freed, and sent back to Pakistan, on Mar. 8 Ghassan Al-Sharbi was also freed,and in April Said Bakush was repatriated to Algeria. Please do bear in mind, however, that these ten 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 30 men are still held, 16 of whom have been approved for release by high-level government review processes.

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 16 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 the 12 other men have been approved for release by PRBs since President Biden took office. 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, including Abu Zubaydah, the first victim of the CIA's post-9/11 torture program) 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 30 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.


Close Guantanamo - End 11 Years of Injustice