It is a sad fact that it requires a major anniversary, two decades on from the arrival of the first prisoners in hoods and orange jumpsuits at Guantánamo Bay’s Camp X-Ray prison, for the media and the U.S. public to pay attention to Guantánamo and the 39 men who remain imprisoned there.
The 741 men who have been released have been almost entirely forgotten by the public. The truth is that the U.S. has largely washed its hands of those it tortured and imprisoned without charge or trial for years on end, outsourcing its responsibility to support the reentry of these men to other countries, usually in the Global South, in some cases with fatal consequences.
I work for the only project in the world that is solely dedicated to assisting people formerly imprisoned in Guantánamo to rebuild their lives — a project run by the human rights charity Reprieve. Many of the men we’ve assisted have been dropped by the U.S. into a country they’ve never been to before, where they have no contacts or networks and possibly don’t even speak the language.
Our own Martina Burtscher writes about the human rights abuses former Guantánamo detainees continue to suffer even after their release. Read the full article in Truthout.