Guantánamo Public Memory Project

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Clive Stafford Smith

At GTMO: 2002-2012

Lawyer Clive Stafford Smith on representing GTMO detainees. You know of course the U.S. wasn’t publishing a list of prisoners in Guantanamo. We didn’t get a list of prisoners until May the 16th, 2006. So it wasn’t for another four and a half years. So we had to find out who there people were. You know, that was something that offended me: that a democratic government would bang up a bunch of people in prison and keep secret who they were. I mean, you know, how Stalinist can you get? So I was annoyed with that.

But the way you would find out about it was ht U/S/ would tell the British government that they had british people, the British government would then tell the families, the families would go to British lawyers, in this case Gareth Peirce. And Gareth got involved with us, contacted us, and she gave us authorizations. And so those were the first clients, and that’s why it was Rasul v Bush. Shafiq was the first person whose family gave us an authorization.

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