Central America

I can still hold my head high – but can my torturers?

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Last week, the Guantanamo Military Commissions vacated the bogus conviction that I have lived with for the past seven and a half years since my release from prison. It has been a long and very painful struggle for me and my family to finally clear my name. The Canberra Times – David Hicks Not only was I convicted of an invented crime in ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan wants to build a mosque in Cuba. It’s based on a historical fallacy.

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Last November, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a now-infamous assertion. “Contacts between Latin America and Islam date back to the 12th century. Muslims discovered America in 1178, not Christopher Columbus,” Erdogan said at a summit in Istanbul of Muslim leaders from Latin America. The Washington Post – By Ishaan Tharoor Erdogan went on, citing as evidence the fact that “Columbus mentioned the existence ... Read More »

The Shame of America’s Family Detention Camps

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Christina Brown pulled into the refugee camp after an eight-hour drive across the desert. It was late July of last year, and Brown was a 30-year-old immigration lawyer. The New York Times - By WIL S. HYLTON She had spent a few years after college working on political campaigns, but her law degree was barely a year old, and she had ... Read More »

Cuba releases new pictures of ex-leader Fidel Castro

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Cuban state media have published a series of photographs of former President Fidel Castro, the first to be released in nearly six months. BBC The release of the photographs, reportedly taken in January, comes after renewed speculation about the 88-year-old ex-leader’s health. Mr Castro has not been seen in public for more than a year. The photos show him in ... Read More »

Prison Dispatches From The War On Terror: Ex-CIA Officer John Kiriakou Speaks

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John Kiriakou is the only CIA employee to go to prison in connection with the agency’s torture program. Not because he tortured anyone, but because he revealed information on torture to a reporter. The Intercept – BY ANDREW JERELL JONES @sluggahjells Kiriakou is the Central Intelligence Agency officer who told ABC News in 2007 that the CIA waterboarded suspected al-Qaeda prisoners after the ... Read More »

David Hicks’s lawyer confident former Guantanamo Bay detainee will have conviction overturned in coming weeks

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The lawyer for former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks believes his client’s conviction for supporting terrorism will be overturned. ( ABC ) Mr Hicks spent time in a US military prison after being captured in Afghanistan in 2001. He eventually pleaded guilty to providing material support for terrorism and was transferred to an Adelaide jail in April 2007. He served ... Read More »

Illegal migration to US by Cubans surges after rapprochement

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WASHINGTON – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The number of Cubans trying to reach the US illegally by sea surged in December, after Havana and Washington announced a landmark rapprochement, the US Coast Guard said. President Barack Obama and Cuban counterpart Raul Castro announced December 17 that the two countries would revive diplomatic ties severed during the Cold War and move to ... Read More »

Pentagon, moving to close Guantanamo, sends five prisoners to Kazakhstan

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The U.S. military has sent five detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay to Kazakhstan, the Pentagon announced late Tuesday, capping a year of intensified efforts by the Obama administration to shut down the detention center. The Washington Post – Missy Ryan and Adam Goldman The transfer of the prisoners, three Yemenis and two Tunisians, to the central Asian nation brings ... Read More »

A New Deal With Cuba

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Caribbean détente, after a half-century of conflict. The Nation – Peter Kornbluh Pick up the phone, Mr. President! Make the call!” That was Alan Gross’s demand when I visited him in a Havana prison a year ago, expressing his desperation at being seemingly abandoned by the government that had sent him on a secret mission to foster regime change in Cuba. ... Read More »

Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses

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The Editorial Board The New York Times Since the day President Obama took office, he has failed to bring to justice anyone responsible for the torture of terrorism suspects — an official government program conceived and carried out in the years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.He did allow his Justice Department to investigate the C.I.A.’s destruction of videotapes ... Read More »