The inmate, identified as Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, told his story to his lawyers in an unclassified telephone call through an Arabic interpreter
(Erica Ritz) Closing the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay was a repeated rallying cry for the left under President George W. Bush. Though President Obama pledged to see it done within his first year in office — and several more times after that — the issue seems to have faded from the public eye now that he’s beginning his fifth year as president.
But recently, as roughly 43 of the 166 detainees continue their over two-month hunger strike against what they consider to be unjust treatment, the facility has made its way back into the news.
On Monday, the New York Times published a first-person account of one such prisoner.
The article begins:
ONE man here weighs just 77 pounds. Another, 98. Last thing I knew, I weighed 132, but that was a month ago.
I’ve been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10 and have lost well over 30 pounds. I will not eat until they restore my dignity.
I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial.
I could have been home years ago — no one seriously thinks I am a threat — but still I am here. Years ago the military said I was a “guard” for Osama bin Laden, but this was nonsense, like something out of the American movies I used to watch. They don’t even seem to believe it anymore. But they don’t seem to care how long I sit here, either. [Emphasis added]
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