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Guantanamo Testimony on Waterboarding, Black Sites

In his testimony last week in the pre-trial hearing of five men charged with plotting the September 11 attacks on the United States, Dr. James Mitchell vividly described his role in torturing detainees in the program he helped design…
The closed Camp X-Ray detention facility is seen in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, April 16, 2019.
News

Court Hears from Architects of CIA Torture Program

In the gallery at the back of the courtroom at Guantanamo Bay’s military commission hearing, I could open a copy of Enhanced Interrogation, James Mitchell’s widely available book chronicling his role in the United States Central…
In this photo reviewed by US military officials, flags fly in front of the tents of Camp Justice, April 18, 2019, in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.
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Apology, Compensation to Former Guantanamo Child Detainee a Break with the Past

Today the government of Canada issued a formal apology and provided compensation to Omar Khadr for Canada’s complicity in his abusive interrogation at Guantanamo Bay, where he was detained at the age of 15. For many Canadian Muslims,…
Omar Khadr listens to a question during a news conference after being released on bail in Edmonton, Alberta, May 7, 2015.
News

Future Whistleblowers Are Watching

Update: On Friday, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to President Obama urging that he commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning. On January 17, President Obama ordered Manning be freed, having served nearly 7 years of her sentence, on May 17, 2017, rather…
A supporter of Edward Snowden holds a combination photo featuring U.S. President Barack Obama and Edward Snowden, during a news conference in Hong Kong on June 14, 2013.
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Keeping Facility Open Threatens US National Security

US president-elect Donald Trump’s tweet yesterday that everyone held at Guantanamo Bay is “extremely dangerous” is ill-informed. What’s worse, his proposed course of action – stopping all releases – shows a lack of understanding about the danger of…
A detainee paces around a cell block while being held in Joint Task Force Guantanamo's Camp VI at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba March 22, 2016.
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Real Oversight and Reform on Surveillance Needed in the US

What a coincidence – just as we launch a Campaign to Pardon Edward Snowden, and as the new Oliver Stone movie opens, the House Intelligence Committee issues a report arguing against clemency for Snowden, alleging overwhelming damage he supposedly caused…
News

Sign Petition to Bring Whistleblower Home

Today, Human Rights Watch joins the American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International in launching a public campaign urging President Obama to pardon whistleblower Edward Snowden. It’s been more than three years since…
A supporter of Edward Snowden holds a combination photo featuring U.S. President Barack Obama and Edward Snowden, during a news conference in Hong Kong on June 14, 2013.
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Judge orders evidence destroyed related to defendants’ secret detention, torture

A trial of the five men charged with the 9/11 attacks is still years away – a fact that became obvious while sitting in on last week’s pre-trial hearings in the Guantanamo Bay military commissions. The co-defendants were arraigned in May 2012, yet…
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, (2nd R) the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, addresses the judge during the third day of pre-trial hearings in the 9/11 war crimes prosecution as depicted in this Pentagon-approved courtroom sketch at the U.S. Naval
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The US Defense Department reportedly meted out only administrative punishments to 11 military personnel involved in the October 3, 2015 airstrikes on a Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders, MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that killed 42…
MSF Hospital Ruins
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Today marks another grim milestone for the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay – the 14th anniversary since the first detainees arrived there, hooded and shackled. On his first full day in office in 2009, United States President Barack Obama signed an…
Camp delta
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Today marks two years since the first of Edward Snowden’s revelations about United States government surveillance shocked the world. Yet despite the international debate on privacy and the proper role of government surveillance that his disclosures set in…
News
A much-anticipated government report officially acknowledges what Edward Snowden revealed to the world many months ago: the UK has been intercepting communications en masse. But rather than condemn the widespread snooping, the report endorses the so-…
News
Back in 2008, just minutes after President George W. Bush signed amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act into law, Human Rights Watch and other human rights, media, and legal groups brought a constitutional challenge to the sweeping powers…
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…
News
It’s been more than two years since the five men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks were arraigned before military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and still the case is not even close to trial, stymied by novel and often bizarre issues unlikely to…
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Edward Snowden’s revelations changed the world, awakening us to a profound but insidious peril. Since last June when his first accounts of National Security Agency mass surveillance became public, we have learned how vulnerable our everyday digital…
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While not present in person, Edward Snowden’s figurative presence permeated this year’s annual Stockholm Internet Forum. Unlike past years, where optimism about Internet-driven opportunities for economic development and social innovation were…
News
Nineteen minutes. That’s how long the review hearing for a Guantanamo detainee lasted this morning. Or, to be more exact, that’s as much of the proceeding as nine reporters and four representatives from nongovernmental organizations were permitted to…