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Welcome to the Guantánamo Lawyers digital archive

This site collects the narratives of lawyers who represented detainees at the Guantánamo Bay Detention Center. All users can download and view the documents as PDFs. Users who register (see "create new account" at the top left of this page) can post comments and discuss the documents.

Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States imprisoned more than seven hundred and fifty men at its naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. These men, who came from over forty different countries, were detained without charges, trial, or a fair hearing. Denied 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 habeas counsel more than two years—and a ruling from the United States Supreme Court—to gain the right to visit and talk to their clients at Guantánamo. Even then, lawyers were forced to operate under severe restrictions designed to inhibit communication and envelop the prison in secrecy. In time, however, lawyers were able to meet with their clients and help bring the truth about Guantánamo to the world.

Mark Denbeaux and Jonathan Hafetz—themselves lawyers for detainees—collected stories that describe the experience of those confined at Guantánamo and the litigation it sparked.

The full text of the lawyers' narratives are freely available here for research, teaching, and non-commercial uses, and will be preserved as a historical record of these events.

Denbeaux and Hafetz have edited a book based on many of these narratives, The Guantánamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison Outside the Law, available from NYU Press.

Check out The Guantánamo Lawyers blog about the book and the issues surrounding the Guantánamo detentions. We encourage readers to visit it and join in the conversation.

Mark Denbeaux is a professor at Seton Hall Law School, where he also directs the Center for Policy and Research.

Jonathan Hafetz is an attorney with the National Security Project of the American Civil Liberties Union and has litigated numerous post-9/11 detention cases.

Click here for information about searching and finding documents on the site.

Click here to learn more about how this site will evolve, as the Guantánamo Bay Detention Center Archive develops.

Unless otherwise indicated, authors hold the copyright of all works presented on this website. The works may be freely downloaded and used for research, teaching, and other non-commercial uses. Citations should include the complete title of the work, the name of the author, and the source of the document at this url:

This site was developed and supported by the following:

NYU Libraries

Digital Library Technology Services
Brian Hoffman
Mark Reilly

Digital Scholarly Publishing Office
Monica McCormick

NYU Press
Deborah Gershenowitz
Gabrielle Begue
Eric Brach
William Pennington

Seton Hall Law School
Michelle Fish
Brie Hughes