In summer, ACLU representatives traveled to the UK to interview five former Guantánamo prisoners: Moazzam Begg and Omar Deghayes (both featured in my new film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” co-directed by Polly Nash), plus Bisher al-Rawi, Ruhal Ahmed and Shafiq Rasul (the latter being two of the “Tipton Three,” featured in the 2006 film “The Road to Guantánamo”). The short film that was made as a result of these interviews is available below (via YouTube):
Justice Denied: Voices from Guantanamo
October 29, 2009
As the ACLU explained in a press release describing the project as “part of an ACLU initiative against the practice of detention without due process that violates fundamental principles of American justice,” and which “the Obama administration has continued,” despite promising to close the prison, the five men spoke candidly about their experiences.
As the men spoke poignantly about trying to rebuild their lives after their experiences, Ruhal Ahmed and Shafiq Rasul pointed out that they don’t hold a grudge against the American people. “The drinks we drink, Coca Cola — it’s American. We still drink it,” Ruhal Ahmed said. “We still go to the movies. So we don’t hate Americans as American people.”
Omar Deghayes, who explained, “I experienced sadness in a state that I have never had, cruelty in a depth that I’d never seen in my life,” also made it clear that he did not bear a grudge against the American people, but explained that he wanted them to know exactly what happened at Guantánamo: “I want the people themselves, humans in America, the good people — which I met many of — to realize how in their names these ugly things were done to others.”
For further information about the film “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,” and details of Andy Worthington’s US tour to show the film (from November 4 to 13), see here.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009, details about my film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (launched in October 2009), and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
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