A Letter From Guantanamo

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HuffPost: This is my call to the outside world from behind these rusty bars, in this monstrous cell. Does the world know what is happening in this prison?

Despite the long years we the prisoners have spent in this place from 2002 to 2013, the American government does not seem interested in solving the problem. The past few months have been among the harshest lived by the prisoners here. During the Bush years, solutions seemed possible. Under Obama, it seems like there is no will to solve the problem.

I once lived communally with the other prisoners in Camp Six. Now we are all in solitary confinement here, with only two hours of recreation a day. Some prisoners are too weak and sick to ever leave their cells as a result of the hunger strike and the U.S. military’s reaction to it.

The military here has used brute force against the hunger strikers. They have beaten us and used rubber-coated bullets and tear gas against us. They have confiscated everything from our cells, from toothbrushes to blankets and books. They have confined us to cold, windowless cells, beyond the reach of the sun’s rays or a fresh breeze. Sometimes, we don’t even know if it’s day or night out.

It isn’t unusual for prison guards here to search prisoners’ genital parts and their rectum ten times in a single day.

Daily, I am forced into a restraint chair, my arms, legs and chest tied down tight. Big guards grab my head with both hands. I feel like my skull is being crushed. Then, so-called nurses violently push a thick tube down my nostril. Blood rushes out of my nose and mouth. The nurses turn on the feeding solution full throttle. I cannot begin to describe the pain that causes.

Recently, a nurse brutally yanked out the force-feeding tube, threw it on my shoulder, and left the cell, leaving me tied down to the chair. Later, the nurse returned to the cell, took the tube off my shoulder and began to reinsert it into my nose. I asked him to cleanse and purify the tube first but he refused.

When I later tried to complain to another nurse about the incident, the other nurse threatened to force the feeding tube up my rear, not down my nose, if I didn’t suspend my hunger strike.

And when I tried taking the matter to a senior medical officer, he told me that they would strap me to a bed and make me urinate through a catheter forced into my penis if I kept up my peaceful protest.

I used to think I was the only one coping with severe joint pain, a weakened memory, having a hard time concentrating, and feeling constantly distracted as a result of all this. But I’ve since discovered that many hunger strikers struggle with the same symptoms. Without realizing it, some of the hunger strikers even speak to themselves out loud when they’re alone.

But we also know that there are peaceful protests in solidarity with our plight in many countries. Even in America itself, there are protests demanding that the U.S. government close this prison that has hurt America’s reputation. And international criticism mounts daily.

We the hunger strikers continue to demand our rights. President Obama can begin by releasing those of us who have been cleared for release years ago, followed by the prisoners who have not been charged with any crime after eleven years in captivity.

Despite the difficulties, the hard conditions, and the challenges created by the U.S. government, those of us on hunger strike will continue protesting until our demands for justice are met.

I don’t know if I believe his allegations of being treated  so harshly. I know someone whose father-in-law was at Gitmo for a couple years and he says the prisoners have a cushy life with all the facilities, games, and other demands they make. And I recently posted on how an official called Gitmo detainees “some of the most pampered prisoners on the planet.” He said they get as many as four choices of halal meals and have access to a new $750,000 soccer field. And the Pentagon is considering plans for a $150million overhaul to what is already the world’s most costly prison per capita.

Interestingly enough, as I do this post, there are no comments from HuffPo readers. Surprised they aren’t commenting and supporting this prisoner.


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0 responses to “A Letter From Guantanamo

  1. Fiction!

  2. I think if these guys want to commit suicide by starvation, we should let them. Heck, we could even use the “sequester” as fiscal justification. And we should definitely open up some beds for the POS, the FLOPOS, and the VICEPOS.

  3. They should be tried or set free. Our latest NDAA now makes it possible for you and me to be put in those cells (IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY) without due process, trial or evidence. What precedent do you want to set?

    We have screwed up by invading these countries, not declaring war according to our constitution and taking prisoners as part of a UN coalition “peacekeeping” mission. POW’s don’t have rights like US citizens (well, until the last NDAA -now we are about the same). I’m convinced that’s part of the reason they are in Cuba and we had all the hullabaloo about transfers onto US soil for trials some time back. But why not try them as POW’s in a military tribunal then? Because we aren’t legally at “war” according to our constitution? The prosecution has some advantages in the military court. Why are we still holding some of these people prisoner for years after WE declared them “innocent”?

    It doesn’t add up. Liberty and justice for all. Note that doesn’t mean they get away with anything. Justice delayed is justice denied.

    • You are leaving out the part about their vow to kill Infidels (us) and their overt actions to achieve that end. I can emphasize with their being locked up for an indeterminate time [read John Donne’s 17th Meditation], but these are not criminals who have “rights” under the U.S. Constitution, they are terrorists without all the rights normally accorded soldiers in war under the Geneva Convention. If they are released before the jihad is over, instantly they will become a clear and present danger to every one of us who is not Muslim. This is personal.

  4. Ooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh you poor baby !!!!!!!!!!You got your head squeezed . Tisk tisk !!!!! At least it’s your head is on it’s shoulders . BAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH . Cry me a river

  5. Dressage Rider

    Lets send the cry babies to a real American prison!

  6. Dear prisoner,
    Maybe you should have thought about unbearable conditions BEFORE you committed crimes of terrorism. Everybody in jail says they are innocent. And some (1% or so) are. I doubt that you can justify the actions that brought you here. And I hope that you are not being unfairly detained. But i doubt it, considering the way this country keeps letting dispicable people out of jail to commit more crimes of violence until they can no longer me ignored. Shut up, do as yourgaurds say. and eat or don’t. I don’t feel sorry for you.


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