I’m not sure what day it was, I barely have an idea of the month.
I assumed that six months had passed since the time I had been taken. The torture was beyond anything I thought I would be able to handle. I was accused of being part of a radical Islamic group and as a consequence thereof, there were no holds barred on the things they could do to me.
I’ve been moved from prison to prison. There was no way to contact my family, apparently the right to make one call was a movie thing. Last week I was hooded and blindfolded along with many others. We were put onto an aircraft. It smelt damp and greasy and the soldiers screamed at us incessantly. Our bodies were stuck in the most painful positions,our hands and feet were bound with cable ties.
Hours later we landed in Guantanamo bay. The most notorious prison on earth, created to contain ‘the worst of the worst’.
We were chained together, which made moving impossible. We were dragged down the stairway from the aircraft. The island was silent, nothing moved, there was only the sound of the waves in the distance. I thought of everything I had heard about this place and i was afraid, the suspense was terrifying.
We were brought into a few concrete rooms for processing. Our clothes were cut of with scissors, the blades almost cutting into our skin. The soldiers never stopped screaming insults at us.
I was given the trademark orange overalls and canvas shoes and a quick medical exam. I was taken into a block of cells and as I walked by I saw others like me, many others. I managed to count arabic, urdu and pashto as the languages that were being spoken.
For a moment I was taken back to the Prophet’s mosque. An angelic voice recited the Quran. As if God was sending me a personal message encouraging me not to give up. As I passed the cell of the reciting man, I realised that he was reciting from memory, his eyes were closed and his body turned toward the back of the cell. A guard somewhere behind me shouted at him to, ‘shut his jihadi mouth’ but he just carried on as if he hadn’t heard.
The memory of the comforts of my previous life began to fade from my memory. My kids, Sadia’s expressions , the fragrance of her hair, our home…it all seemed so far away.
I was put into a cell with someone named Mohammed, he replied to my greeting, introduced himself and then went back to what he was writing. He was clearly the quiet distant type.
At night I was collected for interrogation. It was a long process. Even though our cells were cages, they came in a team of 6, screamed at us to put our hands against the back of the cell. They then threw me onto the floor, bound my hands and feet with cable ties, hooded me and practically carried me to a van. I was thrown into the back and driven a few minutes to an interrogation cell.
They refused to listen when I told them that I knew nothing. There was no respite, the interrogations were at different times but happened daily and the torture was sadistic, brutal, inhumane and very creative.
The beatings were better than the other options. They molested me, raped me with various objects from sticks to bottles and kept asking me if I was enjoying this. They used extreme temperature variations, blaring rock music, locked me into a cell with barking dogs and described to me how they would rape my wife and daughter.
They were monsters.
A few times I was placed naked, hooded and with my hands out straight above me on top of an electric box. They warned me that if I dropped the wires I would be shocked to death.
When the Abu Ghraib photographs surfaced around 2004 the US was quick to say that it was an anomaly, the work of ‘a few rotten apples’ but I’m now certain that the entire apple orchard is growing in hell.
I was never charged with anything, nor was I brought before a court. I have never committed a crime and have never associated with any radical group… yet here I am detained in a cage at Guantanamo Bay.