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.
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This site was developed and supported by the following:
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Digital Scholarly Publishing Office
Seton Hall Law School