Guantánamo Bay Observer Program

Since 2013, the Pacific Council has held official NGO observer status with the Office of Military Commissions at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO). We are one of a select group of organizations with that designation, alongside Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the American Bar Association. In this role we send member representatives with relevant expertise to observe select proceedings at GTMO and report back.

Previous observers have attended the Military Commission hearings for 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, among others.

Upon return from GTMO, Council Observers often share their experience and findings in the form of a news post dispatch. Read Steven Stathatos' update on the delays in the military commission trials; Marisa Hernández-Stern's case for using Article III courts for the remaining detainees; K. Jack Riley's article on the Pacific Council's GTMO Task Force's recommendation to replace military judges with federal judges; Charles Gillig's dispatch on the hearings of Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi; and John Stamper's updates on the Al Nashiri hearings here and here.

In July 2017, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) introduced three amendments to the FY2018 defense bill based on recommendations from the Pacific Council GTMO Task Force.

Read the GTMO Task Force's 2016 report Up to Speed and 2018 report A Matter of Time.

Members with legal expertise or other relevant background are invited to represent the Pacific Council as an official observer. Interested? Let us know: trips@pacificcouncil.org.

Learn more about the Guantánamo Bay Observer Program here.

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