End 22 Years Of Injustice

Welcome to "Close Guantánamo"

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. From February to April, we published a series of ten articles telling these men's stories, focusing on how long they have been held, written by our co-founder Andy Worthington, and published alternately here and on Andy's website.

The ten articles are about Uthman Abd Al-Rahim Muhammad Uthman, Hani Saleh Rashid Abdullah, Toffiq Al-Bihani, Ridah Al-Yazidi and Muieen Abd Al-Sattar, Abdulsalam Al-Hela and Sharqawi Al-Hajj, Moath Al-Alwi, Zakaria Al-Baidany and Mohammed Abdul Malik Bajabu, Suhayl Al-Sharabi and Guled Hassan Duran, Khaled Qassim, Hassan Bin Attash, Sanad Al-Kazimi, and Ismail Ali Bakush.

Please also see our recent article, Guantánamo Scandal: Eleven Men Were Set to Be Freed Last October, Until “Political Optics” Shifted After Hamas’ Attack on Israel, about the shocking news that eleven of these men were supposed to be resettled in Oman in October, but the Biden administration cancelled the deal, fearing the "political optics" of doing so after Hamas' attacks on Israel.

Welcome to the Close Guantánamo website.

Donations to support the work of the Close Guantánamo campaign throughout 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.

January 11, 2024 marked the shameful and unacceptable 22nd anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, and we were involved in a number of online events and vigils taking place across the U.S. and around the world. See here for the more than 120 photos were received of supporters with our poster marking 8,036 days of Guantánamo's existence on the anniversary, see here for photos from, and our co-founder Andy Worthington's report about the 20 vigils for the prison's closure that took place across the U.S. and around the world, and see here for the photos we received marking 8,100 days of Guantánamo's existence on March 15, and 8,200 days on June 23. The next grim milestone is 8,300 days, on October 1, and we hope you'll join us by taking a photo and sending it to us.

Please also see Our Achievements in 2023, Marking Guantánamo’s 22nd Anniversary on Jan. 11, and What We Can Do in 2024, Andy's review of 2023 and the 22nd anniversary events, and our hopes and plans for the Close Guantánamo community in this crucial year, the last of Joe Biden's first term as president.

Please watch the video of Andy, former prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, who, until the end of 2023, was the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism, discussing the 22nd anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo Bay at an online panel discussion hosted by the New America think-tank on January 11, 2024.

Speakers, including former prisoners, lawyers, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin and 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.

2024 continues to be a busy year for campaigning. Monthly coordinated global vigils calling for the closure of the prison, which Andy initiated last year, and 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, have continued on the first Wednesday of every month at locations across the U.S., and in London, Mexico City and Brussels. Follow the links for reports and photos from the vigils on February 7, March 6, April 3, May 1, June 5, and July 3, and please join us, if you can, for the next vigils on August 7. The vigils will continue on the first Wednesday of every month until these men are freed and the prison is closed.

Throughout 2024, we will also continue to cover the stories of the 14 other men still held: the three "forever prisoners," and the ten men charged in the military commissions (as well as the sole convicted prisoner still held at Guantánamo). Of the ten men charged, two recently agreed to plea deals, which we recently covered in Andy's article, "At Guantánamo, Accomplices in the 2002 Bali Bombings Reach A Plea Deal, May Be Released By 2029."

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, 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, 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, and that no one has been freed at all for well over a year.

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, 2024 was the 22nd anniversary of the opening of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, and the start of its 23rd 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 14 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," persistently 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.


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