July 4th 2015: A group of over 90 British politicians, activists, musicians, writers and actors signed an open letter to U.S President Barack Obama urging him to release Shaker Aamer from GTMO. Aamer, a British resident has been detained at GTMO since February 14 2002 shortly after being captured by bounty hunters in Afghanistan who turned him over to U.S authorities. Despite Aamer’s long detention he has yet to be charged with a specific crime. The letter is part of the larger effort of the U.K based coalition organization We Stand with Shaker which has been advocating for Aamer’s return to his family in the U.K.
July 7th 2004: U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz orders the creation of Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs), in order to designate GTMO inmates as “enemy combatants”. The CSRTs were exempt from many of the rules courts in the United States are bound to; prosecutors were allowed to use classified or coerced evidence and tribunals could deny a defendant legal representation. Defendants labeled by CSRTs as “enemy combatants” were not only detained at GTMO but were considered by the Bush administration to be out of the reach of the protections for prisoners of war covered under the Geneva conventions. The CSRTs were challenged in many supreme court cases such as Hamdan V Rumsfeld (2006), Al Odah v. United States (2008) and Boumediene v. Bush (2008).