Since 2002, Mohamedou Slahi has been imprisoned at the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In all these years, the United States has never charged him with a crime. A federal judge ordered his release in March 2010, but 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, "his endless world tour" of imprisonment and interrogation, and his daily life as a Guantánamo prisoner. 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, Guantánamo Diary is a document of immense historical importance and a riveting and profoundly revealing listen.
Slahi was ultimately released in 2016 — after his memoir was released, and after 14 years of detainment and torture without any legal (or practical) basis. As NPR reported at the time:
According to a Justice Department investigation, [Slahi] was beaten, sexually throttled, put in extreme isolation, shackled to the floor, stripped naked and put under strobe lights while being blasted with heavy metal music.
And again: that all happened without charges.
None of this is likely surprising to anyone who has ever paid attention to events at Guantanamo. But I, for one, am excited to see it dramatized in a film starring Jodie Foster, Shailene Woodley, and Benedict Cumberbatch, so that hopefully other people become aware of these atrocities as well.
Harrowing ordeal of Guantánamo prisoner comes to the big screen [Dalya Alberge / The Guardian]
'Forever Prisoner' Writes Book About Guantanamo; He's One Of 107 Still There [David Welna / NPR]
'The Mauritanian' Is Based On Guantanamo's 'Forever Prisoners' [NPR Morning Edition]