A cry from Guantanamo

Jumah al-Dossari is a 33-year-old citizen of Bahrain. This article was excerpted from letters he wrote to his attorneys. Its contents have been deemed unclassified by the Department of Defense.

Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba - I am writing from the darkness of the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo in the hope that I can make our voices heard by the world. My hand quivers as I hold the pen. 

In January 2002, I was picked up in Pakistan, blindfolded, shackled, drugged and loaded onto a plane flown to Cuba. When we got off the plane in Guantanamo, we did not know where we were. They took us to Camp X-Ray and locked us in cages with two buckets - one empty and one filled with water. We were to urinate in one and wash in the other. 

At Guantanamo, soldiers have assaulted me, placed me in solitary confinement, threatened to kill me, threatened to kill my daughter and told me I will stay in Cuba for the rest of my life. They have deprived me of sleep, forced me to listen to extremely loud music and shined intense lights in my face. They have placed me in cold rooms for hours without food, drink or the ability to go to the bathroom or wash for prayers. They have wrapped me in the Israeli flag and told me there is a holy war between the Cross and the Star of David on one hand and the Crescent on the other. They have beaten me unconscious. 

What I write here is not what my imagination fancies or my insanity dictates. These are verifiable facts witnessed by other detainees, representatives of the Red Cross, interrogators and translators.

During the first few years at Guantanamo, I was interrogated many times. My interrogators told me that they wanted me to admit that I am from Al Qaeda and that I was involved in the terrorist attacks on the United States. I told them that I have no connection to what they described. I am not a member of Al Qaeda. I did not encourage anyone to go fight for Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden have done nothing but kill and denigrate a religion. I never fought, and I never carried a weapon. I like the United States, and I am not an enemy. I have lived in the United States, and I wanted to become a citizen. 

I know that the soldiers who did bad things to me represent themselves, not the United States. And I have to say that not all American soldiers stationed in Cuba tortured us or mistreated us. There were soldiers who treated us very humanely. Some even cried when they witnessed our dire conditions. Once, in Camp Delta, a soldier apologized to me and offered me hot chocolate and cookies. When I thanked him, he said, "I do not need you to thank me." I include this because I do not want readers to think that I fault all Americans.

But, why, after five years, is there no conclusion to the situation at Guantanamo? For how long will fathers, mothers, wives, siblings and children cry for their imprisoned loved ones? For how long will my daughter have to ask about my return? The answers can only be found with the fair-minded people of America.

I would rather die than stay here forever, and I have tried to commit suicide many times. The purpose of Guantanamo is to destroy people, and I have been destroyed. I am hopeless because our voices are not heard from the depths of the detention center. 

If I die, please remember that there was a human being named Jumah at Guantanamo whose beliefs, dignity and humanity were abused. Please remember that there are hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo suffering the same misfortune. They have not been charged with any crimes. They have not been accused of taking any action against the United States. 

Show the world the letters I gave you. Let the world read them. Let the world know the agony of the detainees in Cuba.

Amnesty International: TAKE ACTION for Jumah al-Dossari

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Older Comments:
Note to Chander: Just because prisons in other contries/places may play host to such atrocities, be they Islamic, christian, Hindu nations or which ever nations, this does not mean that one more such place is ok. As long as there are true god fearing people on this earth then such things will always be of concern for them and should be of concern to all on Gods earth who posses an iota of humanity within them.

Every body having having a minimum sense of humanity should rise the voice of protest of such such unhuman acts of USA.

Dear Chander!
You are blind in ur faith. Whatever that may be. And for sure u r living in Allahs kingdom, accept it or not. But that is a different question altogether. No where in my post I said you to follow Koran or something, follow whatever you may fancy, I do not care at all. But when it comes to torturing of a human being or even an animal, we feel the pain and do not rejoice (be it muslim, hindu, christian or whatever). But from all ur post it appears that you are trying to defend some kind of ideology even though that ideology is full of error and inhumane. The guy who was tortured knows best what kind of treatment he received, if he was wrapped with an isralei flag or an arabian flag, and in a dire situation as he is now (u agreed that jail is jail, not hotel)you cast doubt that he is making up things, as if US never committed any crime, while even many american knows and admit what US administration is doing. As was found in that letter, those unfortunate victims are treated by some of the officials who knows that whatever they are doing is wrong. I did not say that arabian jail or pakistani jail authority put detainees in a ***** hotel or something but whoever are there, I thought they went through some kind of trial, may be some of them are farsh. But in this case, those unfortunates were even denied any kind of trial. Do you think every country does that? I am not so cynical like you. I still believe that there are people with strong sense of justice and injustice. You are one of those who managed to train their conscience so that one can defend all the injustice and wrong done by a particular country. I wonder why?? I hope there is no selfish interest in that. Finally, I appreciate ur effort to help GITMO detainees, but with the kind of attitude you have, I doubt how they are going to be helped!

The same happened to me in the U.S. I have tears just reading this article. I am a sister that was detained, and kidnapped in the Boston, MA area of the U.S. The same exact things happened to me, a U.S. citizen by birth, but not by right.

Note to Nizam:

I hope you can read. Read my original post carefully. I said that US government could not be so stupid to wrap a muslim in an Israeli flag and hence this was believable. Rest of the charges are standard in any jail.

Why condemn GITMO when we are not ready to condem all other jails; it is not much different than other US jails.

This is war baby. In war, everybody (and I mean everybody, no exceptions) lose sight of humanity. Are you trying to tell me that muslims act humanely in war? If you do, then you are deluding yourself. And don't give me quotes from Koran; this world does not deal with Koran; rather it deals with the actions of its followers.

Are you trying to tell me that jails in Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia are humane? Come on. Take criticism like a man. Do some self-criticism; see the world as it is, not as some religious book says. We live in the real world, not in 'Christ' or 'Allah's' Kingdom.

how can i help ?

Brothers who are imprisoned in Guantanamo,
Assalam alaikum,
In your situation of despair and anguish which all God-fearing people feel, know that Allah is aware of everything, your pain, suffering and the suffering of your dear ones. We can only pray and have 'sabr' and leave everything else to His Mercy and Justice. We cannot understand His plan, we are helpless creatures.
Soon Allah will relieve you of your suffering inshallah.

This so-called "War Against Terrorism" and "War Against Islamic Terrorists" will end when there is genuine Justice for all -- around the World. Otherwise, it is merely a slogan--empty and morally corrupting-- used by people with political goals in mind.

It is both shocking and frightening that the prisoners in Guantanamo and in prisons in Iraq were tortured, humiliated and treated in such an inhumane way and that they are still in Guantanamo after 5 years without a trial. The U.S. personnel that committed these terrible acts and their Superiors should be prosecuted and put to trial. ..

To say majority of American are innocent is just like not facing the reality, US is democracy, and Americans choose Bush twice to be their president, if they want they can change him at any time (if majority stands up) but they reality is a majority of them are bad, they are selfish and morally corrupt. If US can bomb common Iraqi civilians for the crimes of Saddam a dictator, why cannot the Americans are responsible for the crimes committed by Bush when they elected him by their free will?

I think you need to think critically about urself. You have completely lost conscience, something each human being is born with. While, the letter says that some of the guards treated him kindly, after seeing his suffering, you still doubt the truthfulness of this letter! You are completely insane, or already has become an animal. If you had feelings for any human being, you would not write whatever you have written in ur post here. I pity for you and ur soul. I am sure, if ur father or mother was treated like that, you would just think, it happens...

George Bush is doing the work for the devil, however I must blame the way muslims are being treated on the ones that call themselves muslims and are kill and misleading people onto the winding path, I am ashamed of what most muslim stand for including the present leaders in the United States

Hundreds imrisonment & Torture in Guantanomo, ten of thousands civilians bombed in their homes & brutalised in the jails in Iraq, Afghanistan, all in the name of fighting terror and all full of lies. Is there a price for this? American citizens are quietly watching George Bushes crimes against humanity. For those who are silent, you are equaly guilty of the crime that you are tolerating. For every thing there is a price. Some day, if and when the table turns, you will find your victims very much forgiving.

God only knows who is guilty and who is innocent in prison in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, because there has been no trial of the prisoners. According to some reports some of the detainees in Gitmo were rounded up in Afghanistan and Pakistan and sold for a price by the warlords. To render justice to these prisoners, they must be tried in the court of law.
My prayer for the innocent is: O Lord, have mercy on them and establish peace and justice throughout the earth. O Lord, You are Powerful while we are weak, please, Lord help the innocent.

it is a shame the way the detainees have been treated. I do not agree with what has been done. However my objections are in the minority I suspect. There is one person responsible for this and perhaps he should be tried in a court. I have never agreed with stretching laws, treaties, etc. I can only pray that Allah' justice will be done. I would hate to be one of the abusers or oppressors on the day of judgement.

When the US and British troops finally come back, how do we receive them? Do we give them a ticker tape parade for numerous incidents of torture murder, rape, slaughter, lieing, cowardice, unimaginable cruelty and violent racism or will Fox news and the White House argue that it was only a few rotten eggs who did bad deeds. I can just see it now, "hurrah for you and you but not you and you and you but maybe not you and not you and not you..........". You cannot selectively cheer the army. Either you are proud of the heniouss deeds they have done and that is a reflection of the extent of corruption of your own soul or you give them the same treatment as those who came back from Vietnam after being on record for cruelty, murder and mayhem, except this group under the supreme Ape president bush, has no conscience or remorse or any feelings for humans or animals alike. You cannot separate the entire force from the actions of 95% of them who are known criminals.

I am a citizen of the US and feel the pain of guantanoma Bay . The majority American citizens are good , have decent human values. We cannot just sit and cry. We have to do something , to have the detainees voices heard and give all of them a hearing and the innocent freed. We need to support organizations of lawyers that are working to have these detainess released from endless captivity , torture with no crimes charged against them. Before the world order becomes an order of injustice and torture, the sane world has to bring back justice and peace. We need to work with christian , jewish and muslim organizations together as this is a matter of concern for all to bring peace, sanity, justice and order again

Its a shame that Guantanamo is still there. People are still suffering. It must be closed as soon as possible and all must be compensated for the suffering and cruelity caused to them and their families.

I am sure soon the day will come when people will realize their mistakes and will admit it publically or they will be made to accept their mistakes and will be held accountable in the court of law.

I used to study in United States 30 years ago. It's hard to believe that Americans could be so morally degrading

may allah help our all detanies, may the cruel people believe that every actions returns.

It is very heart breaking to read about the people in gautanamo. May Allah give them and their familis patience and a quick release from the prison so that they can go back to their families. ameen

i,m completely disgusted by how a human being not to mention our muslim brothers are being treated!there is nothing else i can say about the destruction of muslim brotherhood but ALLAH help us all.
the misconception about ISLAM,the west and our relationship with the jews seems the main pillar that's creating islamophobia. Let's stop this and stop innicent civillians from being locked up at horrible places such as guantanomo bay! INSHAALLAH

My eyes just welled up with tears as I was reading the cry for justice of brother Dossari. I wonder, how hypocrite people can be. On one hand, US is crying for humanity, on the other, the very same people treat human inhumanly. What a shame for a country like Pakistan handed him over just to receive favour from a rich country! Stop punishing innocent people without justice. May Allah give him strength and patience. Hope his cry will be heard by the good hearted people of America and whole world and someday such mistreatment of human being will stop.

The author writes "They have wrapped me in the Israeli flag and told me there is a holy war between the Cross and the Star of David on one hand and the Crescent on the other.".

It is inconceivable that US Government could be so stupid because it has the possibility of inflaming all muslims. I doubt the above.

What else to believe? The charges are standard from any prisoner from any jail.

In any case, this is a jail, not a hotel. How are prisoners treated in jail! and I mean in any jail of any country!.

At least, in US, he has an attorney and it does not cost him a penney (I am a member of ACLU and contribute towards legal help for GITMO detainees). Which other country (especially, a muslim country) grants attorneys to its 'enemy' prisoners?

Like it or not, this is war. In war, the differentiation between the civilian and military is academic.