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Andy Worthington

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What a disgrace the Justice Department lawyers dealing with Guantánamo are. 

On Sunday June 30, 2013, attorneys for four prisoners at Guantánamo filed a motion with the District Court in Washington D.C. 

Yesterday, I wrote about a motion submitted to the District Court in Washington D.C. by Reprieve, the legal action charity, and Jon B. Eisenberg, an attorney in Oakland, California, on behalf of four prisoners taking part in the prison-wide hunger strike at Guantánamo that is about to enter its sixth month. 

In preventing the release of prisoners from Guantánamo, all three branches of the US government are responsible.

On June 17, 2013, through FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) legislation, a long-standing mystery was solved -- the identities of the Guantánamo prisoners recommended for trial, for indefinite detention and for "conditional detention" by the inter-agency Guantánamo Review Task Force that President Obama established after taking office in January 2009 -- when the task force's "Final Dispositions as of January 22, 2010" were released by the Department of Justice.

As today is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, initiated by the United Nations in 1997, on the 10th anniversary of the the day that the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into force, I’d like to take this opportunity to promote a newly released half-hour documentary film, “Culture of Impunity,” for which I was interviewed along with the law professor and author Marjorie Cohn, the professor, author and filmmaker Saul Landau, the author and activist David Swanson, Laura Pitter of Human Rights Watch, and Stephen Rohde of the ACLU. 

In a desperate message from Guantánamo, Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, told one of his lawyers by phone, “The administration is getting ever more angry and doing everything they can to break our hunger strike. Honestly, I wish I was dead.”

Over 150 doctors from the US and around the world have condemned the force-feeding of hunger strikers at Guantánamo in a letter to President Obama that was published in the Lancet this week. 

Yesterday, President Obama fulfilled the first of three promises he made a month ago to resume releasing prisoners from Guantánamo, by appointing an envoy at the State Department to deal with prisoner transfers.

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