I’ve been held at Guantánamo for 20 years without trial. Mr Biden, please set me free

I’ve been held at Guantánamo for 20 years without trial. Mr Biden, please set me free Khalid Qasim Despite how many times, under how many presidential administrations, I have been disappointed, I hold out hope

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Khalid Qasim

Injustice takes many forms. After 20 years in US custody, most of that time spent in Guantánamo, you could say I am an expert.

It may surprise you to know that I think America has a very good justice system. But it is only for Americans. In the cases of those like me, justice is not something that interests the US. I wish that people understood how Guantánamo is distinct.

In Guantánamo, the torture we are exposed to is not isolated to the interrogation rooms; it exists in our daily lives. This intentional psychological torture is what makes Guantánamo different. There is interference in every aspect of my existence – my sleep, my food, my walking.

‘America has a very good justice system. But it is only for Americans.’ Art by Khalid Quasim
‘America has a very good justice system. But it is only for Americans.’ Art by Khalid Quasim. Illustration: Khalid Quasim

For the first nine years at Guantánamo, I was held in solitary confinement. It was a harsher, more violent place then. The communal blocks that opened in 2010 made a difference, but the deliberate mental torture remains the same. The rules change constantly and without warning. Some guards and some administrations are more cruel than others.

Imagine you’re watching TV and someone comes up behind you and starts lightly kicking you. If it only happens for a little bit, it won’t be a problem. But say they just keep kicking you, endlessly, no matter how often you tell them to stop, and there is nothing you can do about it. Imagine what kind of torture that would be.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. How can anyone imagine for one moment, that the government which owns Guantanamo prison, cares at all about anyone’s suffering, anywhere, never mind about the alleged suffering of an ethnic minority in China? If you can believe that, I have some magic beans to sell you, results guaranteed!

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