Praise Powerful, Tragic Memoir by Guantánamo Inmate

Guantanamo Bay

Target: Mohamedou Slahi, unlawfully detained Guantánamo inmate since 2002

Goal: Applaud Mohamedou Slahi for his courage in chronicling life prior to and abuse during his long imprisonment in the Guantánamo Bay detention camp

The thoughts, dreams and suffering of inmates at the infamous Guantánamo prison remain largely classified. Rarely are their stories told. Even as the extent of state-sanctioned torture is revealed, its brutality and pointlessness exposed by human rights groups and the Senate’s own report on torture, more than 100 inmates remain at the prison. One of these men, Mohamedou Slahi, has chronicled his long and unjust imprisonment in a groundbreaking memoir–the first book written by an Guantánamo inmate while still incarcerated.

In Guantánamo Diary Mohamedou describes being forced to drink saltwater, repeatedly beaten while immersed in ice, subjected to death threats and sexual humiliation, and tortured into false confessions. He experienced tremendous physical and emotional distress, at times hallucinating and feeling “on the edge of losing [his] mind.” No evidence was ever found linking him to a plot or terrorist attack, writes the Guardian. He has never been charged with a crime. Some 2,500 redactions were cut from his dairy before its declassification; publishers left the censor’s marks in place helping readers experience the ongoing secrecy surrounding the controversial prison.

“Mohamedou’s book takes us into the heart of this man the US government tortured, and continues to torture with indefinite detention,” his attorney Nancy Hollander said of the memoir. “We feel, smell, even taste the torture he endures in his voice and within his heart. It is a book everyone should read.” Applaud him for sharing this important story with the world. May these profound and tragic words help bring about an end to the ongoing torture and unlawful detention of Guantánamo prisoners.


Dear Mr. Slahi,

Many people around the world are aware of the controversial imprisonment of terrorist suspects at Guantánamo Bay. But it is nearly impossible for civilians to comprehend the suffering you have been forced to endure there, never charged with a crime yet subjected to torture for more than a decade.

With Guantánamo Diary you help readers better understand what daily life has been like at the Naval prison. Such a first-hand account can raise even greater awareness of these human rights abuses and help bring about real change. Thank you for having the courage to share your story with the world. May your freedom, and the closure of this shameful prison, come soon.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Shane T. McCoy via U.S. Navy

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