Author(s): Mohamedou Ould Slahi
Since 2002, Mohamedou Ould Slahi has been imprisoned at the detainee camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In all these years, the United States has never charged him with a crime. Although he was ordered to be released by a federal judge, the US 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 US custody and daily life as a detainee. 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, Guantanamo Diary is a document of immense historical importance.
An unprecedented international publishing event: the first and only diary written by a still-imprisoned Guantanamo detainee.
Mohamedou Slahi was born in Mauritania. He left the country at the age of eighteen, on a scholarship to study in Germany. In the early 1990s, he interrupted his studies and went to Afghanistan to join al-Qaida units fighting (with American support) the Soviet-backed government in Kabul. He returned to Germany in 1992 completing his engineering degree. He lived and worked in Germany for many years before moving briefly to Canada and then returning home to Mauritania in 2000. In November 2001, he turned himself in to Mauritanian authorities at their request. At the direction of the United States government, he was rendered to Jordan, then to Afghanistan and finally to Guantanamo. He has been a prisoner at Guantanamo since August 2002. The United States government has never charged him with a crime. Larry Siems is director of the Freedom to Write and International Programs at PEN American Center and the author of The Torture Report: What the Documents Say About America's Post-9/11 Torture Program. He lives in New York.