Guantanamo Diary // Nicole’s Nook

Last week I reviewed a book that unearthed the soupy, gluggy, stinky, saggy mess that is the inevitable human death. This week, on a more serious note, I read Guantanamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi.

“Making fun of someone’s religion is one of the most barbaric acts. President Bush describes his holy war against the so-called terrorism as a war between the civilised and barbaric world. But his government committed more barbaric acts than the terrorists themselves.” – Mohamedou Ould Slahi

Imagine being held under interrogation, sometimes for almost 22 hours a day, in a foreign country and no one can tell you what the heck you’ve done wrong?

Shockingly, that’s the reality for Mohamedou Ould Slahi, an innocent man who has been imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay since 2002.

Written in journal-like prose, Guantanamo Diary is quite literally the diary of a man who, since his imprisonment, has suffered deliberate and complete injustice at the hands of the US Government. It is also the only firsthand account by a Guantanamo Bay detainee.

The story of Slahi’s torture and interrogation without charge will break your heart; years without seeing his family, endless body aches and bruises, months without a hot meal and a blanket ban on religion. But still, Mohamedou finds it in himself to practice his Islamic religion, to pray and stay hopeful in the most trying of circumstances.

The book eventually come to light more than 12 years after he was detained by the United States. Slahi’s handwritten manuscript, written from his single cell at Camp Echo in 2005, has finally been published after years of litigation and once-overs by the United States Government. For this reason there are classified parts in the text, which have been completely covered up.

It really makes you wonder, what else has the United States Government have to hide?

In 2007, the FBI, CIA and military intelligence determined that Slahi could not be linked to any acts of terrorism. But for some reason he still remains imprisoned.

“I was asked to provide every detail about Islamic movement, no matter how moderate. That’s amazing in a country like the U.S., where Christian terrorist organisations such as Nazi’s and White Supremacists have the freedom to express themselves and recruit people openly and no one can bother them. But as a Muslim, if you sympathise with the political views of an Islamic organisation you’re in big trouble”. – Mohamedou Ould Slahi

Guantanamo Diary will seriously make you question humanity, legal process and the United States Government’s desperation to pin the tragedy of September 11 on anyone, even an innocent person who just happens to be Muslim.

In the world of terrorism, no one is safe. I just hope Slahi is released to his family soon. It’s 14 years too late!

Rating: 3/5 worms

Image sourced from People

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