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    Onderwerp: The Mauritanian, hoe onschuldige moslim het extreme martelnetwerk van het Westen overwon

    1. #31
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      News|Human Rights

      Guantanamo 20 years on: A legacy of ‘injustice’ and ‘abuse’

      Advocates reflect on the ‘disturbing legacy’ of the detention facility and urge US president Joe Biden to take action and close it down.

      'It is a global symbol of American injustice, torture and disregard for the rule of law,' the ACLU's Hina Shamsi says of Guantanamo Bay prison [File: Mike Brown/EPA]

      By Ali Harb Published On 11 Jan 202211 Jan 2022

      Washington, DC, the United States – On the 20th anniversary of Guantanamo Bay, advocates say the US military detention facility represents two decades of injustice – and must be shut down.

      Established at an American military base in Cuba in 2002 by the administration of President George W Bush, the prison was meant to deprive detainees from the post-9/11 “war on terror” of the constitutional rights they would enjoy on US soil.

      Its location – in an American-owned enclave of the Caribbean island – muddied the waters on the applicability of international law and rules of war on the treatment of prisoners. And over the years, the prison earned a reputation as a place of abuse and injustice outside the rule of law.

      US President Joe Biden has promised to close the facility, but reports on the construction of a new, secret courtroom at Guantanamo have exacerbated concerns that the administration may not be serious about shutting it down. There has been only one transfer out of the prison over the past year.

      The facility that once housed nearly 800 detainees now holds 39 prisoners, with 13 already cleared for transfer. Most have been held without formal charges.

      Here, Al Jazeera speaks with human and civil rights advocates on the legacy of Guantanamo:

      Activists demonstrate against the Guantanamo Bay detention camp near the White House, in Washington, DC on January 11, 2020 [File: Mike Theiler/Reuters]

      Mansoor Adayfi, former inmate: ’20 years of injustice, torture, abuse’

      Mansoor Adayfi is speaking from personal experience when he says Guantanamo represents “20 years of injustice, torture, abuse, lawlessness and oppression”.

      Adayfi spent more than 14 years at the prison, where he says he endured torture, humiliation and abuse. A Yemeni native, Adayfi was conducting research in Afghanistan when – at the age of 18 – he was kidnapped by Afghan fighters and handed to the CIA on allegations that he was a much older recruiter for al-Qaeda.

      Adayfi maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal, which he describes as dehumanising, and was released in 2016 to Serbia, where he continues to advocate for closing down Guantanamo and ensuring justice for the detainees.

      “Guantanamo is one of the biggest human rights violations of the 21st century,” Adayfi, who last year released a memoir titled Don’t Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantanamo, told Al Jazeera in a phone interview. “And also it is [abusive] to the American justice system, to the American people. Guantanamo hasn’t achieved any justice for anyone – not for the 9/11 victims, not for Americans, not for the detainees.”

      For his own experience with torture and wrongful detention, Adayfi said the path to justice would begin with closing Guantanamo and ending the secrecy around abuses and legal proceedings that took place there.
      “Justice means reparation, means acknowledgement, means apologising,” he said.

      Hina Shamsi, ACLU: Guantanamo a ‘symbol of American injustice’

      Hina Shamsi, director of the National Security Project at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a prominent critic of the civil rights violations that accompanied the “war on terror“, called the Guantanamo Bay prison a “legal, moral and ethical failure”.

      “It is a global symbol of American injustice, torture and disregard for the rule of law,” Shamsi told Al Jazeera via email, adding that Biden must be held accountable to his campaign promise to close down Guantanamo.
      “Prisoners who are indefinitely detained without charge must be transferred, starting with those who have been cleared for transfer for years. The Biden administration needs to resolve the broken and unconstitutional military commissions by pursuing plea agreements that would account for defendants’ torture by our government while providing a measure of transparency and justice, as 9/11 family members have urged,” she said.
      “If President Biden is serious about upholding human rights, racial equity, and justice, he needs to take action by finally closing Guantanamo.”

      Daphne Eviatar, Amnesty International USA: Guantanamo’s legacy is ‘Islamophobia and impunity for torture’

      Daphne Eviatar, director of the Security with Human Rights Program at Amnesty International USA, said the fact that Guantanamo has been open for 20 years is “itself a very disturbing legacy”.

      “Until the United States is willing to shut the prison down, transfer detainees to places where their human rights will be respected, and acknowledge and provide reparations for the abuses that happened at Guantanamo, the legacy of the US prison at Guantanamo Bay will continue to be one of flagrant human rights abuses, racism and Islamophobia and impunity for torture,” Eviatar told Al Jazeera in an email.

      Eviatar said the way forward to shut down the prison is “clear” and “not particularly difficult” – freeing detainees cleared for release, trying those charged with “internationally cognizable crimes” in regularly-constituted US federal courts, and transferring inmates who have not been charged to other countries where they would not face rights abuses.

      “President Biden has no excuse for not taking that path,” she said.

      Yumna Rizvi, Center for Victims of Torture: ‘Hypocrisy and arrogance’

      Yumna Rizvi, policy analyst at the Center for Victims of Torture, an advocacy group for torture survivors, including Guantanamo detainees, said the prison’s legacy is “dark and haunting”.

      “Many of the Muslim men detained behind its bars have been subjected to unspeakable human rights violations by the United States and have suffered irreparable damage,” Rizvi told Al Jazeera in an email.

      “Guantanamo highlights the hypocrisy and arrogance of the U.S, which has deliberately turned its back on the rule of law, creating a faux legal system where impunity, injustice, and disregard for human rights reign.”

      Robert McCaw, CAIR: A prison designed to deny Muslim suspects their rights

      Robert McCaw, government affairs director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a civil rights group, said the prison highlights the anti-Muslim bias of US government policies in the post-9/11 era.

      “The highest security prison that the United States government maintains is in Guantanamo. And it’s designed to only house Muslim men that are being held without charge on the suspicion of supporting terrorism,” McCaw told Al Jazeera.

      “The psychological impact of having such a prison designed to detain Muslim men indefinitely and deny them their rights shows the status of Muslims in the US legal system, and how far the government is willing to go to treat Muslims in US custody,” McCaw said. “And so, as long as this prison remains, it’s not only a stain on our nation’s human rights record but a testimony to the different treatment that Muslim suspects have in the US judicial system.”
      'One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived'

    2. #32
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      Standaard Re: The Mauritanian, hoe onschuldige moslim het extreme martelnetwerk van het Westen overwon

      The brotherhood of Guantánamo Bay

      The torture and abuse at Guantánamo did not kill our humanity. It only strengthened it.

      Mansoor Adayfi
      Writer, artist, activist, and former Guantánamo prisoner

      25 Jan 2022

      [Jawaher Al-Naimi/Al Jazeera]

      I was raised in a family that emphasised strong religious values such as brotherhood, compassion and kindness. I also observed these morals practised throughout my small village in Yemen. At home and school, I was taught to follow the example of Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him), and especially loved his saying, “I have been sent only for the purpose of perfecting the highest morals.”

      Years later, it was only through my interactions with fellow detainees at Guantánamo that I fully understood what this meant. Through our shared faith, we developed a bond that could not be broken, even as we suffered the most horrendous torture and abuse.

      In the autumn of 2001, I was travelling in Afghanistan when I was kidnapped by local warlords, presented to US forces as a “senior Egyptian al-Qaeda operative” and sold to them. I was just 18 years old. Shortly after, in February 2002, I was transferred to Guantánamo.

      Like the other detainees, I did not know where I was, why I was there, or why there were constant beatings and shouting. I was confused, terrified, angry, and would often rebel against the constantly changing rules. Being imprisoned for 14 years, I essentially grew up in Guantánamo. I would often recall the lessons I was taught in my childhood and even during the relentless abuse, would reflect on the Prophet’s tradition and teachings about moral character.

      After living together for years, being transferred from one camp within Guantánamo to another, from makeshift cells to solitary confinement to prison cells, we, the prisoners developed a close-knit community. We had a shared life, culture, and memories. We went through it all together, for better or worse, and became a family.

      In 2010, when we were transitioned to communal living in Camp 6, our bond deepened. Interrogators and guards were fewer, camp rules were relaxed to give us more freedom, and we began to interact more with each other, as well as the camp staff.

      Instead of praying in separate cages, we were able to pray collectively in rows like we would in mosques. Instead of eating on our own, we were able to enjoy meals together just like we would at home with our families. Instead of playing with a foot ball alone, we were able to play in teams just like we would outside of prison. And instead of talking to the same neighbours every day in the cages, we now could talk to tens of prisoners in different blocks.

      We did not have much, but we had each other. When the prisoners would call each other, they would say “our Afghan brothers”, “our Yemeni brothers”, and so on. We taught and learned from each other about many different topics and cultural traditions. We borrowed the best traits from each other’s cultures. Arabs started behaving like Afghans and Afghans started behaving like Arabs.

      Unsurprisingly, the interrogators would try to turn us against each other. There were prison blocks where the majority of the detainees were either Arabs or Afghans. One day, when the interrogators wanted to isolate me, they moved me to an Afghan block, thinking that my life would be harder because there were no Arabs I could speak to.

      Little did they know that if you ended up in a block with a group that is not your own, you would actually be lucky. You would be treated as their guest as long as you were there, and they would try to comfort you in any way they could.

      And this is what happened to me. The Afghans treated me like a family member. I ended up teaching Arabic to an illiterate Afghan prisoner and listening to the beautiful poetry of another – an Afghan poet and singer in his 60s who wrote two books of poetry in Pashto at Guantánamo. He always sang his poetry for the block and would sing for me as well.

      With Arabs making up the majority of detainees at the camp, many were involved in protests and resistance against the torture and the abuse there. In the beginning, most of the Afghans and prisoners of other nationalities tried not to get involved. The camp administration took that as a sign of fear and tried to exploit it to create divisions.

      One day, a Pashto translator came to distribute sheets of paper just for Afghan prisoners. Written on it in Pashto and Dari was the word “hypocrites” with some Arab prisoners’ photos. The first Afghan prisoner who received that paper threw it at the translator and spat at him. Interrogators really did not understand our brotherhood. They were deluded into thinking they could change us.

      The longer we stayed together the stronger our bond grew. The hardship, torture, and mistreatment we suffered brought us together and strengthened our camaraderie. We developed a unique form of solidarity.

      When interrogators would torture one of our brothers, most of us would stop talking to them. It was never coordinated and no one told us to do it – we just felt obligated to stand up for our brothers who were suffering.

      In the rare moments of joy, we were also together. All of us would celebrate when a prisoner received good news, especially when one of their kids got married or when they became grandfathers. We celebrated our religious holidays together. We fasted the holy month of Ramadan together and marked Eid al-Adha. And when prisoners were transferred from Guantánamo, there would be a big celebration.

      Guards and other camp personnel were surprised by our behaviour. They were told that they would meet the worst of the worst – killers, “terrorists”, monsters who were capable of snapping their necks in a second. When the guards started to work with and talk to us, their views completely changed. Many prisoners and guards developed strong friendships, and some of the guards even converted to Islam.

      The bonds we formed and the good moral character I witnessed in each of my fellow prisoners showed me the power of the Prophet’s teachings. Islam is based on perfecting the relationship between us and our Creator (Allah), but also the relationship with ourselves, our families, neighbours, and all who may surround us – including our enemies.

      These bonds are interconnected, interdependent, and shape who we are and who we become. They challenge us, nurture us, and strengthen us even in times of hardship. I learned that even when we cannot control what happens to us, even when others shed their humanity, we must do everything in our power to preserve ours. We still have the power to embody a high moral ethic as individuals and our relationships with one another. In Guantánamo, we practised the Prophet’s precepts every day.
      'One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived'

    3. #33
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      Standaard Re: The Mauritanian, hoe onschuldige moslim het extreme martelnetwerk van het Westen overwon

      Een opmerkelijke reünie van ex-Guantánamogevangenen

      Gaat Guantánamo ooit dicht? Ex-gevangene Moazzam Begg organiseerde een webinar met zes lotgenoten. Carolien Roelants woonde het bij.

      Een van de opmerkelijkste webinars die ik sinds het begin van corona heb bijgewoond – en ik heb er véél achter de kiezen – was vorige maand de online reünie van zeven ex-gevangenen uit het beruchte Amerikaanse detentiekamp Guantánamo Bay. Plus een van hun advocaten. Reden voor mij om hier opnieuw over Guantánamo te schrijven. Alleen al het idéé: zeven mannen die volgens de Amerikaanse autoriteiten in de eredivisie zitten van de internationale terreur, gewoon live op mijn scherm.

      Ik noem er een paar. Mohamedou Ould Slahi, u kent hem wel van de film The Mauritanian en misschien ook van zijn optreden in De Balie afgelopen maand. Hij heeft veertien jaar in Guantánamo vastgezeten en maakt nu dansvoorstellingen voor het Noord-Nederlands Toneel. Omar Khadr, een Canadees die op zijn vijftiende in Amerikaanse ogen zo’n gevaarlijke terrorist was dat hij tien jaar opgesloten moest blijven voordat hij met de grootste Canadese moeite vrijkwam. Moazzam Begg, de organisator van de bijeenkomst, een Pakistaanse Brit die al in 2005 werd vrijgelaten omdat de toenmalige Labourregering het niet pikte dat haar staatsburgers rechteloos vastzaten. De regering-Johnson zou hem daarna zijn nationaliteit hebben afgepakt, zoals gebeurde met Shamima Begum in het Syrische kamp Al-Hol.

      Begg voert sinds zijn vrijlating met zijn organisatie Cage actie voor zijn vroegere medegevangenen, en nu voor sluiting van het hele Guantánamo, wat president Obama in 2009 al beloofde en Biden heeft herhaald, maar niet erg wil lukken. Dit webinar was onderdeel van Beggs campagne. Er zitten nog 39 van de ooit 780 gevangenen vast. Van hen zijn er twee aangeklaagd en schuldig bevonden (2008), tien moeten in de komende jaren worden berecht, en negentien van de resterende 27 mogen weg als er een land is, niet te dicht in Amerika’s nabijheid, dat hen hebben wil. En dat kan járen duren. Ze zijn nooit aangeklaagd, en ze zijn allemaal in gevangenschap gefolterd – dat hebben Amerikaanse autoriteiten zelf ook bevestigd. Lees ook: Guantanamo Bay: twintig jaar buiten de rechtsorde

      De mannen op dat webinar leken hele gewone mannen. Ze haalden herinneringen op en lachten om elkaars grapjes. Maar ze vertelden ook hoe ze in Afghanistan in 2001 letterlijk aan de Amerikanen waren verkocht en eerst door de CIA in Afghanistan en later in Guantánamo waren gefolterd. De Britse advocaat Clive Stafford Smith, die de meesten van hen heeft bijgestaan, vertelde dat het zijn tactiek was geweest „zoveel mogelijk informatie over de werkelijke verschrikkingen naar buiten te brengen” en in Britse kranten gepubliceerd te krijgen – het recht als zodanig zou hier niet gaan werken.

      De meesten zijn nog steeds niet echt vrij; ze mochten niet naar hun geboorteland terug en werden in een derde land vastgezet of krijgen geen paspoort. Wat dat betreft boft de Saoediër Mohammed al-Qahtani. Hij kreeg vorige week te horen dat hij vrijkomt én, volgende maand al, naar zijn eigen land wordt overgebracht. Maar Qahtani is natuurlijk helemaal geen geluksvogel. De vermeende twintigste kaper van 9/11, die destijds bij aankomst in de VS werd opgepakt, is geestelijk zo in de war dat hij geen gevaar meer wordt geacht voor de Amerikaanse veiligheid. Het punt is: hij was al van jongs af aan schizofreen en wist mogelijk niet eens af van de kapingsplannen. Ook hij is gruwelijk gefolterd om toch maar een bekentenis los te krijgen.

      Moazzam Begg doet zijn uiterste best Guantánamo leeg en dicht te krijgen. Er is geen enkele aanwijzing dat Biden daaraan gaat meewerken.
      'One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived'

    4. #34
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      Standaard Re: The Mauritanian, hoe onschuldige moslim het extreme martelnetwerk van het Westen overwon

      Youngest Guantánamo Detainee Is Cleared for Release

      Hassan bin Attash, who has been held since 2002 without charge, now needs a transfer deal. His brother, also at Guantánamo, is accused of conspiring in the Sept. 11 attacks.

      A cell block in Camp 6 at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in 2019. Of the 37 wartime detainees at Guantánamo, 20 have now been provisionally approved for transfer.Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

      By Carol Rosenberg

      April 26, 2022

      GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — The youngest detainee at Guantánamo Bay, a Yemeni man who has spent his entire adult life in U.S. custody, has been cleared for release, the Pentagon disclosed on Tuesday, but must wait for the Biden administration to find a country willing to offer him rehabilitation.

      At a Periodic Review Board hearing on Jan. 25, an unidentified U.S. military officer described the detainee, Hassan bin Attash, as believing that “his capture and subsequent detention had changed the trajectory of his life.” The officer said the now-cleared prisoner was influenced by American culture during his 20 years of detention, which according to a Senate study included at least 120 days at a C.I.A. black site.

      Mr. bin Attash, who was born in 1982 or 1985, was captured in a Pakistani security services raid on Sept. 11, 2002, along with a defendant in the Sept. 11, 2001, case, Ramzi bin al-Shibh. Mr. bin Attash’s older brother, Walid, is also accused of helping plot the Sept. 11 attacks. But Hassan bin Attash has never been charged with a crime.

      Hassan bin Attash.Credit...via JTF-GTMO Detainee Assessment

      Of the 37 wartime detainees at Guantánamo, 20 have now been provisionally approved for transfer. Twelve have been charged with crimes, including the convicted Qaeda courier Majid Khan, who completed his sentence last month but does not have a release arrangement. Five are indefinite detainees in the war on terrorism, neither charged with crimes nor designated for transfer.

      The challenge is for the State Department to negotiate transfer deals for the cleared men with countries willing to provide security guarantees that satisfy Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III. Diplomats have arranged just three transfers from the prison since President Biden took office despite an administration goal of closing the detention center.

      The State Department recently rehired Ian Moss, a lawyer who had negotiated transfers at the office of the special envoy for the closure of Guantánamo during the Obama administration. His title is deputy coordinator for terrorist detention and countering violent extremism, a spokesman said, and he will again arrange transfers.

      Both bin Attash brothers have been held at Guantánamo Bay since 2006, and are now imprisoned in adjacent buildings but have never been allowed to see each other, their lawyers have said. The only known photo of Hassan bin Attash was taken soon after he was brought to Guantánamo as a young man with a bushy, unkempt head of hair.

      He is the youngest detainee. Saifullah Paracha, 74, is the oldest, and has been cleared for transfer since May.

      It is not clear where Mr. bin Attash would go. Although a citizen of Yemen, he was raised in Saudi Arabia in a family with several sons who joined the jihad in Afghanistan and found their way to the company of senior Qaeda leaders.

      The board’s decision said that he “presents some level of threat,” but that he had been a “positive influence” at the prison. It recommended that he be sent to a country with a “strong rehabilitation and reintegration program” and “enhanced monitoring.”

      Earlier this year, the military officer assigned to advocate for Mr. bin Attash as his “personal representative” told the panel that the prisoner had become so fluent in English, and “comfortable with people of different backgrounds and beliefs,” that he aspired to find work as an Arabic-English translator after his release.

      Mr. bin Attash was approved for release two weeks ago, according to an announcement posted on Tuesday by the Defense Department. The Pentagon offered no explanation for the delayed disclosure, which confirmed accounts posted on Twitter and Facebook by a former detainee and the sister of a current detainee.
      'One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived'

    5. #35
      Abu Muhamad khattabi_bilal's Avatar
      Jan 2019
      Rotterdam, Nederland
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      Standaard Re: The Mauritanian, hoe onschuldige moslim het extreme martelnetwerk van het Westen overwon

      Men is in de veronderstelling dat Guantanamo bay sinds 11 september aanslagen is ontstaan.

      Dat is niet zo, het bestond al lang daarvoor. Dit weet ik door die clip van de refugees met hun reality nummer ready or not.

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