End 21 Years Of Injustice

If You Can, Please Support the Guantánamo Survivors Fund This Holiday Season

The logo for the Guantánamo Survivors Fund.

By Andy Worthington, December 21, 2022

In a just world, the U.S. government would have done all in its power to ensure that prisoners held at Guantánamo for years without charge or trial, and then released, would have had opportunities to rebuild their lives with proper support and without harassment.

The truth, however, is that those released from Guantánamo remain unfairly tainted by having been held there, and cannot rely on any of the rights — freedom to travel, and freedom from arbitrary harassment and even imprisonment, for example — that all human beings are supposed to be able to take for granted.

In the cases of those prisoners who have been released to their home countries, the U.S.’s role is necessarily limited, but in the cases of those resettled in third countries because it was regarded as unsafe for them to be repatriated, or because Congress passed laws preventing their repatriation, the U.S. government is responsible for how these men have been treated, and continue to be treated after their release. Around 150 men are in this category of former prisoners, resettled in dozens of countries around the world.

Instead, however, many have found themselves fundamentally without rights — often regarded with suspicion by their host governments, and subject to being arbitrarily harassed, or even imprisoned, preventing from working, prevented from traveling, or from having visits from family members.

Disgracefully, these former prisoners have no fundamental rights as human beings, and whatever was agreed between their host countries and the U.S. government regarding their treatment, and their host country’s obligations, was agreed in secret, and has never been publicly disclosed in any cases.

Next year, the Close Guantánamo campaign will be launching a new initiative, the Guantánamo Accountability Project, to address the shameful fact that former prisoners remain fundamentally without rights, even after their release, and to call for this disgraceful state of affairs to be brought to an end, but for now we’d like to invite you to support the Guantánamo Survivors Fund, established in April this year to provide help with medical care, rent, language classes, tuition and job training for former prisoners struggling to survive.

The Guantánamo Survivors Fund was established by No More Guantanamos, the Muslim Counterpublics Lab, Witness Against Torture and Healing and Recovery After Trauma, and former prisoner Mansoor Adayfi is their Outreach Consultant.

Since their launch, they have raised over $34,000 to help seven men and their families with their needs, including housing, health care and transportation, and are currently trying to raise that amount to $37,500. Any donations made by December 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous supporter.

To donate, please visit the funding page here.