Guantánamo Bay

Life After Guantánamo

By May 20, 2016 No Comments

Reprieve’s Life After Guantánamo program is the only dedicated rehabilitation project for prisoners freed from Guantánamo Bay.  It is supported entirely by charitable donations, which can be made here to our 501(c)(3) in New York City.



The Problem

Prisoners cleared and released from Guantánamo Bay are in desperate need of basic support to reintegrate peacefully into society. After over a decade of harsh military detention, including torture, they invariably suffer from severe post-traumatic stress, as well as serious health concerns.  Many are released to third countries where they know no-one and do not understand the language or culture.  Although they have committed no crime, they are required to live under onerous legal restrictions and travel bans, making family reunification and employment difficult.

Read the story of one of our clients, Mohammed el Gharani here. 

Our Program

Reprieve’s unique ‘Life After Guantánamo’ prisoner resettlement program is a crucial support service helping to facilitate the closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay and to minimize its damaging effect on ex-prisoners and on the international community.

What our team does:

  • Assists former Guantánamo detainees access the rehabilitation and basic services they need, including housing, careers, education, mental and physical health care, integration, and family reunification;
  • Acts as a watchdog ensuring that ex-prisoners are treated legally and fairly and are given a real chance to recover and become contributing members of society;
  • Advises and sensitizes third-country governments who are offering refugee prisoners a home on best practices regarding the resettlement and rehabilitation of former Guantánamo detainees;
  • Provides day-to-day emotional support to former detainees, offering a lifeline at a time of severe isolation in their lives;
  • Helps persuade governments to offer Guantánamo prisoners a home, by providing informative prisoner profiles and a tailored support program.

Our Results

Reprieve has provided substantial non-monetary assistance to 38 struggling ex-prisoners in 18 countries, and our holistic approach with these men – who have all experienced a very specific set of torture techniques – has proved vital to their rehabilitation.  Without us, they would likely be abandoned, stigmatized and lack access to services necessary to overcome a range of psychological and physical illnesses.

Recent achievements include:

    • Overturning a 20-year in absentia sentence facing a newly-released  man in North Africa;
    • Helping four men to standardize their legal status in their host countries, working to ensure that they have similar or the same rights as ordinary citizens;
    • Finding a pro bono language teacher for one ex-detainee, helping another to develop a livelihoods project, and  a third to complete a bachelor’s degree vital to support his family;
    • Facilitating the reunification of one former detainee with his children.

Why Reprieve?

  • We have over ten years of experience investigating and litigating US-led abuses in multiple jurisdictions, representing countless victims of abusive detention;
  • We are an international organization with fellows around the world, connecting us to grassroots and government sources of support;
  • Our small size, flat structure and lack of bureaucracy allows us to be quick, flexible and creative – crucial in the ongoing effort to solve unique problems caused by Guantánamo;
  • Our fast pace of work allows us to assist a large volume of ex-prisoners, which enables us to connect the dots between cases and build on our broad experience.

Why we need your help:

Our resettlement workload is increasing substantially as we work towards the closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay. After sixteen years, and following long-term hunger strikes and harsh force-feeding, every prisoner that emerges from Guantánamo is more damaged than the last. The need for dedicated support for this men is greater than ever.

Please send a check to Reprieve US, PO Box 3627, New York, NY 10163 or donate online below. We will use your donation where it is most needed.

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