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Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States imprisoned more than 750 men at its naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The detainees, ranging from teenagers to elderly men from over forty different countries, were held for years without charges, trial, or a fair hearing. Without any legal status or protection, they were truly outside the law: imprisoned in secret, denied communication with their families, and subjected to extreme isolation, physical and mental abuse, and, in some instances, torture. These are the detainees' stories, told by their lawyers because the prisoners themselves were silenced. It took lawyers who had filed habeas corpus petitions over two years to finally gain the right to visit and talk to their clients at Guantánamo. Even then, lawyers worked under severe restrictions, designed to inhibit communication and maximize secrecy. Eventually, however, lawyers did meet with their clients. This book contains over 100 personal narratives from attorneys who have represented detainees held at Guantánamo as well as at other overseas prisons, from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan to secret CIA jails or "black sites."
The U.S. detention center at Guantánamo Bay has become the symbol of an unprecedented detention system of global reach and immense power. Since the 9/11 attacks, the news has on an almost daily basis headlined stories of prisoners held indefinitely at Guantánamo without charge or trial, many of whom have been interrogated in violation of restrictions on torture and other abuse. These individuals, once labeled “enemy combatants” to eliminate legal restrictions on their treatment, have in numerous instances been subject to lawless renditions between prisons around the world. The lines between law enforcement and military action; crime and war; and the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of power have become dangerously blurred, and it is time to unpack the evolution and trajectory of these detentions to devise policies that restore the rule of law and due process. Obama’s Guantánamo: Stories from an Enduring Prison describes President Obama’s failure to close America’s enduring offshore detention center, as he had promised to do within his first year in office, and the costs of that failure for those imprisoned there. Like its predecessor, Guantánamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison Outside the Law, Obama’s Guantánamo consists of accounts from lawyers who have not only represented detainees, but also served as their main connection to the outside world. Their stories provide us with an accessible explanation of the forces at work in the detentions and place detainees’ stories in the larger context of America’s submission to fearmongering. These stories demonstrate all that is wrong with the prison and the importance of maintaining a commitment to human rights even in times of insecurity.
This book demonstrates a new, interdisciplinary approach to life writing about torture that situates torture firmly within its socio-political context, as opposed to extending the long line of representations written in the idiom of the proverbial dark chamber. By dismantling the rhetorical divide that typically separates survivors’ suffering from human rights workers’ expertise, contributors engage with the personal, professional, and institutional dimensions of torture and redress. Essays in this volume consider torture from diverse locations – the Philippines, Argentina, Sudan, and Guantánamo, among others. From across the globe, contributors witness both individual pain and institutional complicity; the challenges of building communities of healing across linguistic and national divides; and the role of the law, art, writing, and teaching in representing and responding to torture.
Examines the rise of an American-run global detention system, including Guantâanamo Bay, Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, and secret CIA jails, and discusses efforts that are being made to challenge this new prison system through habeas corpus.
"Im Gefängnis San Pedro wurde man nicht von der Polizei belästigt und hatte leichten Zugang zu billigem, reinem Kokain. Einer der besten Orte in Südamerika, um wilde Partys zu feiern." Marschpulver ist ein atemberaubender Bericht über das Leben im bolivianischen Gefängnis San Pedro, in dem Insassen ihre Zellen von Maklern kaufen, Shops und Restaurants führen und Hunderte Frauen und Kinder gemeinsam mit verurteilten Familienmitgliedern innerhalb der Gefängnismauern leben. Korrupte Politiker und Drogenbarone wohnen in Luxusappartements, während die ärmsten Insassen Überfällen und Elend ausgesetzt sind. Teile des Gefängnisses, in denen tagsüber Kindergeschrei zu hören ist, beherbergen nachts Boliviens florierendste Drogenlabors. Doch inmitten von Korruption, Gewalt und dem täglichen Kampf ums Überleben ist Marschpulver auch die Geschichte einer ungleichen Freundschaft, entstanden unter kuriosen Umständen, zwischen Thomas, einem Drogenschmuggler, und dem jungen Anwalt Rusty. Dieser besticht die Wachen, lebt drei Monate lang gemeinsam mit Thomas in einer Zelle und schreibt dessen Erlebnisse auf – entstanden ist die zugleich ungewöhnlichste und spannendste Gefängnis-Story aller Zeiten.

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