RSN Fundraising Banner
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Hajj writes: "I was captured when I was in my 20s and brought to Guantanamo Bay in 2004, after more than two years in secret prisons. I have been imprisoned here without charges since then."

Detainees stand during an early morning Islamic prayer at the U.S. military prison for 'enemy combatants' in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (photo: John Moore/Getty Images)
Detainees stand during an early morning Islamic prayer at the U.S. military prison for 'enemy combatants' in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (photo: John Moore/Getty Images)


Will I Die at Guantanamo Bay? After 15 Years Without Charges, I Deserve Justice

By Sharqawi Al Hajj, Newsweek

13 January 18

 

was captured when I was in my 20s and brought to Guantanamo Bay in 2004, after more than two years in secret prisons. I have been imprisoned here without charges since then. I am now 43. I feel like an old man. I am one of the last remaining prisoners at Guantanamo. I wonder if I am going to spend the rest of my life here.

You can’t know what the passage of all these years feels like, without being able to see my family, on this foreign land in the middle of the sea. You can’t know what it feels like to be in this strange universe of prisoners and soldiers, going around and around in circles for thousands of days, on the same patch of land on which I was tortured. Sometimes it feels like hell, other times I feel numb.

Thirteen years ago, your country brought me here because of accusations about who I was and what I did. Confessions were beaten out of me in those secret prisons. I tried, but I am no longer trying to fight against those accusations from the past. What I am asking today is, how long is my punishment going to continue? Your government has held me in captivity for over 15 years. Your president says there will be no more transfers from here. Am I going to die here?

If I have committed crimes against the law, charge me. In 15 years, I have never been charged, and the worst things the government has said about me were extracted by force. The judge in my habeas case decided years ago that I had been subjected to physical and psychological abuse during my interrogations, and statements the government has wanted to use against me are not reliable.

If I am a threat, on what basis? Accusations from 15 years ago? Because there are conflicts going on outside these walls that have nothing to do with me? Is it the hunger strikes that I have started out of desperation to protest this injustice that make me a problem?

I have tried to show that all I want is to forget this nightmare, and have nothing to do with anything or anyone who brought me here. But when you are a detainee in Guantanamo against the government, with the government deciding whom to believe, and led by a man who says no one is going to leave here and thinks all Muslims are dangerous, what chance do you have? Even if I were cleared, it would not matter. There are men here who have been cleared for years who are sitting in prison next to me.

Detainees here, all Muslim, have never had rights equal to other human beings. Even when we first won the right to challenge our detention, in the end, it became meaningless. It is hard for me to go back to your courts, hard for me to believe that laws will not be bent again to allow the government to win.

But this week, I am joining a group of detainees here, all of us who have been held without charges for years, to try again to ask the courts for protection. We are asking the court to look at our detention today, based on accusations from 15 years ago and on evidence too weak to allow imprisonment for this long, still with no end, and decide if just laws allow this.

With this president, and no one else on our side, this is the only option we have. The only option is for justice to prevail.


e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+2 # engelbach 2018-01-13 16:31
Bush and Obama both permitted this shameful violation of international and US law.

Trump is continuing their policies.
 
 
0 # RLF 2018-01-14 07:10
I think this guy should have been tried and kept in prison for the rest of his life at a nice maximum security prison where he could "mingle" with other prisoners. I'm only disappointed that we, as a country, have never learned the lesson that we should never, ever suspend full rights even in a war...especiall y this endless one against the whole planet.
 
 
+1 # elizabethblock 2018-01-14 11:56
Kept in prison if found not guilty?????
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN