After Years in Guantanamo Prison Without Charge, Future Even More Uncertain for Yemeni Detainees

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Democracy Now!

After Years in Guantanamo Prison Without Charge, Future Even More Uncertain for Yemeni Detainees

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Although President Obama came into office last year promising to close down the infamous prison camp at Guantanamo, nearly 200 men are still imprisoned there. On Tuesday, Obama noted that the would-be bomber Christmas Day airline bomber had received training in Yemen and emphasized his links to a Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda. He went on to announce that he had suspended the transfer of any more Guantanamo detainees to Yemen. About half of the men remaining in Guantanamo are from Yemen.

Next week will mark the eighth anniversary of the first transfer of prisoners to the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Although President Obama came into office last year promising to close down the infamous detention center, nearly 200 men are still imprisoned in Guantanamo.

As the Obama administration grapples with security concerns stemming from the attempted airline bombing on Christmas, the future of these men hangs in the balance.

On Tuesday, President Obama noted that the would-be bomber had received training in Yemen and emphasized his links to a Yemeni branch of Al Qaeda. He went on to announce that he had suspended the transfer of any more Guantanamo detainees to Yemen. About half of the men remaining in Guantanamo are from Yemen.

Meanwhile classified Pentagon assessments show an increase in the number of prisoners released from Guantanamo who have joined militant groups like Al Qaeda.

For more on the future of Guantanamo and the men still being detained there we're joined now from London by journalist and author Andy Worthington. His book is  "The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America's Illegal Prison." He is also co-director of the film, "Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo."

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