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.
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!
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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
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.