Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, a 35-year-old Yemeni man who has been a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay since 2002, told the story of his experience, with the assistance of an Arabic interpreter, to his lawyers at the legal charity Reprieve in an unclassified telephone call, and the New York Times has now published his translated story:
I've been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial.I encourage you to go read the whole thing.
I could have been home years ago — no one seriously thinks I am a threat — but still I am here. Years ago the military said I was a "guard" for Osama bin Laden, but this was nonsense, like something out of the American movies I used to watch. They don't even seem to believe it anymore. But they don't seem to care how long I sit here, either.
...I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can't describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn't. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone.
I am still being force-fed. Two times a day they tie me to a chair in my cell. My arms, legs and head are strapped down. I never know when they will come. Sometimes they come during the night, as late as 11 p.m., when I'm sleeping.
There are so many of us on hunger strike now that there aren't enough qualified medical staff members to carry out the force-feedings; nothing is happening at regular intervals. They are feeding people around the clock just to keep up.
...The only reason I am still here is that President Obama refuses to send any detainees back to Yemen. This makes no sense. I am a human being, not a passport, and I deserve to be treated like one.
I do not want to die here, but until President Obama and Yemen's president do something, that is what I risk every day.
Where is my government? I will submit to any "security measures" they want in order to go home, even though they are totally unnecessary.
I will agree to whatever it takes in order to be free. I am now 35. All I want is to see my family again and to start a family of my own.
There are no words to fully describe the rage and sorrow I feel that this is being done in my name. I do not want my government to do this. I do not believe it makes me safer. I do not believe it would be justified, even if it did.
President Obama promised to close Gitmo. Now we are into his second term, and that promise still has not been kept.
UPDATE: See also: Jess.