Society

Guantanamo Bay Prisoner Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel Publishes Op-Ed In New York Times

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After being imprisoned for the past 11 years in Guantanamo Bay, a 35-year-old Yemeni citizen published an op-ed in the New York Times about what living in the prison is really like. Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel is one of 43 prisoners being held at the terrorist detention camp who is currently on a hunger strike.

Al Hasan Moqbel was arrested in Pakistan in 2001 but has never been formally charged with any crime. He stopped eating two months ago and is force-fed through a feeding tube twice a day against his will. He is down to 132 pounds, according to Think Progress.

From the op-ed:

“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.”

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He then goes on to describe his treatment at Guantanamo after he began the hunger strike.

“Last month, on March 15, I was sick in the prison hospital and refused to be fed. A team from the E.R.F. (Extreme Reaction Force), a squad of eight military police officers in riot gear, burst in. They tied my hands and feet to the bed. They forcibly inserted an IV into my hand. I spent 26 hours in this state, tied to the bed. During this time I was not permitted to go to the toilet. They inserted a catheter, which was painful, degrading and unnecessary. I was not even permitted to pray.”

“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.”

He continues:

“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 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.”

Sources: Think Progress, The Atlantic