ASIL Film Series: The Mauritanian and the Future of Guantanamo

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  Yet five men charged with conspiracy to commit those attacks, including the alleged mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, remain in U.S. custody at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, their trial yet to begin.  The problems that have bedeviled the 9/11 proceedings have been endemic to the facility since its inception: the use of torture, the use of classified evidence, the endless debates over which rules of law apply to the men detained there.  The Biden Administration has announced a renewed effort to close the facility, but these and other issues have posed formidable barriers to previous closure attempts and to obtaining just dispositions for the remaining detainees.  The recently-released film The Mauritanian, which tells the story of former Guantanamo detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi, shines a renewed spotlight upon many of these issues.  Nancy Hollander, counsel to Slahi, and Lt. Col V. Stuart Couch, USMC, Ret., the former military prosecutor who refused to prosecute his case, will join a panel of experts from academia, government, and civil society in a discussion that will use the film as a launching point to assess the current state of affairs at Guantanamo and prospects for the future. 


  • Nancy Hollander, Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Urias & Ward PA
  • Judge V. Stuart Couch, Board of Immigration Appeals
  • Brian Egan, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
  • Professor Oona Hathaway, Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law, Yale Law School
  • Andrea Prasow, Deputy Washington Director, Human Rights Watch

Moderator:  Ashika Singh, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Co-sponsored by the ABILA International Humanitarian Law Committee