GITMO Pre-departure Impression – Qifan Wang – July 28 2014

As the research assistant for MCOP, to participate in the project as an observer has always been my hope. It’s a great honor for me to be nominated for traveling to GITMO observing the al Nashiri hearings (Aug. 3 – Aug. 9). Honestly speaking, when the chance actually comes, a feeling of both excitement and nervousness follows. On one hand, after keeping tracking the proceedings for several months, I’m so eager to get a closer real-time look in the courtroom in GITMO. On the other hand, I’m concerning that in order to be a competent observer, I need to be more familiar with the case, substantively and procedurally.

In fact, there has not been a plenty of time for me to digest the nervousness. As soon as being nominated, I started working on document collecting for the August Hearings. Professor Edwards comes up with the great idea that we could build a library for NGO observers in GITMO, including background introduction, legal instruments, in-depth comments and so on. With a hard copy of our document collection placed in the GITMO NGO facility, all observers may enjoy the convenience to get a quick review of the case or law at issue. I think this would be very helpful and necessary, not only for our participants, but also for those from other institutions. Undoubtedly, a comprehensive reference plays a very important role in an ideal court observation.

As the departure date approaching, the excitement just grows with the tightness of schedule. Four days to go, being both short and long.

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