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News Link • Guantanamo Bay

The two faces of America

• http://www.aljazeera.com,
It was Halloween ten days ago in the United States. Having spent the last 11 years in US custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, I've learned a fair amount about American culture. I understand that it is customary for people to dress up in masks and embrace different identities for a night. In Camp 5 at Guantanamo, the masks rarely come off.

Take one of our military guards here. Standing 195cm tall at 114k, Biggie is the name that the prisoners have given him. A young soldier in his 20s, Biggie can be both courteous and helpful. He often runs errands for us and speaks to us respectfully. But Biggie is also the most brutal of guards.

In February of this year, my fellow Guantanamo prisoners and I began a hunger strike to protest our indefinite imprisonment without charge. I also routinely stage peaceful sit-ins, refusing to leave my cell or the recreation area.
 
 

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