Since 2002, Mohamedou Slahi has been imprisoned at the detainee camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In all these years, the United States has never charged him with a crime. Read more...
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Since 2002, Mohamedou Slahi has been imprisoned at the detainee camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In all these years, the United States has never charged him with a crime. Although he was ordered released by a federal judge, the U.S. government fought that decision, and there is no sign that the United States plans to let him go. Three years into his captivity Slahi began a diary, recounting his life before he disappeared into U.S. custody and daily life as a detainee. His diary is not merely a vivid record of a miscarriage of justice, but a deeply personal memoir---terrifying, darkly humorous, and surprisingly gracious. Published now for the first time, GUANTANAMO DIARY is a document of immense historical importance.
- ISBN-13: 9780316328685
- ISBN-10: 0316328685
- Publisher: Little Brown & Co
- Publish Date: January 2015
- Page Count: 379
- Dimensions: 1.25 x 6.5 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-02-09
- Reviewer: Staff
A Guantanamo detainee endures a hellish ordeal in this riveting prison diary. Slahi, an electrical engineer, was arrested in his native Mauritania in 2001 at the behest of the U.S. government and has been incarcerated at the American military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for 13 years. (The memoir was originally written in 2005 but was only recently declassified, with redactions.) There he fought a Kafkaesque battle with interrogators who pressured him to admit involvement in the 9/11 attacks and the failed “millennium plot" to bomb several targets on Jan. 1, 2000, which he insisted he had no part in, and subjected him to vicious beatings, freezing temperatures, sleep deprivation, sexual groping, and threats that his mother would be imprisoned. After months of abuse, Slahi says, he falsely confessed to terrorism charges. The gripping memoir, ably edited by Larry Siems, captures the prisoner's suffering and disorientation, yet has currents of reflectiveness and empathy as Slahi strives to understand his captors and connect with their humane impulses. His case is complicated: he trained with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in the early 1990s, but he was ordered released from Gitmo by a federal judge in 2010 (though Slahi is still imprisoned there), and Siems's introduction makes a cogent case for his innocence. Whatever the truth, this searing narrative exposes the dark side of the “war on terror"—the system of arbitrary imprisonment and “enhanced interrogation" where justice gives way to lawless brutality. (Jan.)