A message from a desperate and grateful man in Guantanamo Bay
Dear all – a quick update from me.
Yesterday I had a legal call with my client Ahmed Rabbani in Guantanamo Bay. I will have more to follow on the terrible things that are happening to him there. For now, I wanted to pass on a message.
I told him about all the people campaigning for him and the prisoners held in Guantanamo. I told him about all those supporting the hunger strike by pledging a 24 hour fast, how they were writing about it and publicising it. This is what he said:
“First I want to thank everyone who felt for me by going on hunger strike. This is really much appreciated. It makes me feel that I am not alone.”
He repeated the same thing more than once, and then again at the end of our conversation.
In our last call he told me: ‘They apparently don’t mind if people die because of the injustice here, because they figure nobody cares about Guantanamo anymore, and nobody will notice’.
You changed that. You cared. You noticed. And it has made a huge difference.
But there is more to be done urgently – the new Trump administration practice is allowing detainees who peacefully protest their indefinite detention without trial to starve to death, while denying them access to medical care – even vitamins necessary to prevent brain damage.
Nine men have already died waiting for justice at Guantanamo, and I won’t let Ahmed join their number. We need to raise the alarm about what’s happening there.
We want the Trump administration to know that we’re watching, we’re waiting, we’re fighting. And I’m so glad to have so many people with us.
Thank you for being a part of it,
Clive Stafford Smith
Former taxi driver mistaken for a known extremist. Endured 545 days of extreme torture in the CIA’s Dark Prison. ‘Forever prisoner’, hunger striker and artist in Guantanamo since 2002. No charge or trial. Is it worse to be tortured with authorisation or without it? This is the question Ahmed Rabbani was left with after his horrific ordeal at the hands of the CIA’s torturers.
Ahmed has described in detail his suffering while in US detention. He doesn’t know exactly how long he was held in the CIA dungeon known as the Dark Prison, but he believes it was around seven months, from January 1, 2003. Overall, the CIA has told the US Senate they kept him for some 545 days in various dreadful places. The Dark Prison gets its name from the complete darkness in which the prisoners are kept and tortured.