An unprecedented international publishing event: the first and only diary written by a still-imprisoned Guantánamo detainee.
Since 2002, Mohamedou Slahi has been imprisoned at the detainee camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In all these years, the United States has never charged him with a crime. Although he was ordered released by a federal judge, the U.S. 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 U.S. 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, GUANTÁNAMO DIARY is a document of immense historical importance.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Heartbreak doesn’t begin to describe what you feel reading Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s account of being detained and interrogated by the CIA and its allies since 2001 without a trial. To know that the electrical engineer from the African nation of Mauritania remains a prisoner in Guantánamo to this day amplifies the urgency, rage, and (amazingly) barbed humor of his diary, presented with heavy edits made by the U.S. government. This isn't easy reading. But it’s an important historical achievement—a book that offers a harsh glimpse into a hidden world and humanizes a grave injustice that should concern us all.
A Guantanamo detainee endures a hellish ordeal in this riveting prison diary. Slahi, an electrical engineer, was arrested in his native Mauritania in 2001 at the behest of the U.S. government and has been incarcerated at the American military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for 13 years. (The memoir was originally written in 2005 but was only recently declassified, with redactions.) There he fought a Kafkaesque battle with interrogators who pressured him to admit involvement in the 9/11 attacks and the failed millennium plot" to bomb several targets on Jan. 1, 2000, which he insisted he had no part in, and subjected him to vicious beatings, freezing temperatures, sleep deprivation, sexual groping, and threats that his mother would be imprisoned. After months of abuse, Slahi says, he falsely confessed to terrorism charges. The gripping memoir, ably edited by Larry Siems, captures the prisoner's suffering and disorientation, yet has currents of reflectiveness and empathy as Slahi strives to understand his captors and connect with their humane impulses. His case is complicated: he trained with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in the early 1990s, but he was ordered released from Gitmo by a federal judge in 2010 (though Slahi is still imprisoned there), and Siems's introduction makes a cogent case for his innocence. Whatever the truth, this searing narrative exposes the dark side of the war on terror" the system of arbitrary imprisonment and enhanced interrogation" where justice gives way to lawless brutality.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The censored parts...ugh
The book is censored on virtually every page. What is the point!? It's so frustrating to navigate. Buy the paper version...based on reviews I've read, it's a more pleasant read.
Devastating and important
I just finished this book and plan to urge everyone I know to read it. I do want to note that the footnotes in the iBook version of this book are incredibly unhelpful and impossible to navigate. In the book itself - footnotes are noted with an asterisk. It is virtually impossible to connect it to the note at the end of the book which is unfortunate as the notes are exceptionally edifying.