What's it like - to be guards and prisoners at Guantanamo

What's it like - to be guards and prisoners at Guantanamo

Christopher Arendt

24 years old, student, military service at Guantanamo Bay from January to November 2004:

"I tried to work in night shifts. When they are not sleeping, I always wanted to apologize to them. When they slept, it was possible not to worry. I could just walk up and down the corridors.

One of the prisoners usually woke up earlier than the others, about five o'clock, and summoned the others to prayer. He was kept in the most recent camera body. Prisoners sang great, but listening to them was pretty scary. 48 people wake up in the morning and with one voice sing a beautiful song, the meaning of which I could never get into because Arabic - is beyond my understanding. It was very powerful.

Base "Delta" is situated on a cliff that hangs over the ocean. I had never been to the ocean. In the army I was very struck by the discrepancy often enormity of what is happening and at the same time its aesthetic appeal. When I first saw the two prisoners prepare for prayer, and at the same time begins the dawn, it was probably the most controversial show in my life. Every day you are bypassing the corps of prison: two rows of cameras, 24 in each, it is 48 people, but you do not have the slightest idea of ​​why they are here. You bring them food, and if they start to go crazy, to sprinkle them in some horrible chemical petroleum-based. And then you take five and leads to their people marked for the full program. I grew up in Charlotte, Michigan. The family lived in a trailer in the middle of a cornfield, right on the dirt road. The first time I saw a Muslim only in prison. I went to serve, when I was seventeen, November 20, 2001. Before you go to Cuba, I bought two pornozhurnala; I never thought that I would be so depressed that they are not interested in me at all. In the end, I cut them into small pieces and covered with her porn wall of the barracks. Obtain such wallpaper on half the room. Mom sent me a pack of stickers with the dinosaurs, so very very cool porn I closed up with all sorts of Diplodocus and Iguanodon. I am sitting and staring at all this beauty. A long time, a very long time.

I stayed in a cellblock only two months, but it is great to me shattered. I did not know what to do with all this. At one point, I took a cable tied to the ceiling fan in his barracks and decided to hang himself. As a result, he ripped out of the ceiling fan. It was several months before demobilization.

The only thing what I miss, it cups. Prisoners are allowed only Styrofoam cups, and they painted them. I know that they are forbidden to depict human and like any animal at all. So they painted flowers. Completely decorate these pieces colors. Then they were taken. Terrible foolishness we take a glass - as if it can be encrypted with some secret message, they throw it into the sea, and someone will find it - and forwards it to the military intelligence. And they will look, then, at these tiny gizmos, and kicked. These cups I loved scared. "

What's it like - to be guards and prisoners at Guantanamo

Murat Kurnaz

26 years, publicist, social activist, was arrested in December 2001 in Pakistan and without charge placed on a military base in Guantanamo, was released nearly five years, and not knowing that he was charged with:

"They beat them all. There was one man, very old man, he had not seen or heard anything. Guards ordered him to do so-and-so, and he just did not hear the order. They went into his cell and beaten. Two minutes, no more. With me this also happened many times.

They did not need any reason. To begin with, they used "pepper vodka" (pepper spray). It is very burns. Difficulty breathing, his eyes are not opened. All face like burning, coughing non-stop. Then they beat me with his elbow. When finished, we come up with the reason and recorded it in the log. We were allowed to pray every day, but every time they included the music to drown out the singing. Sometimes rock, sometimes the United States national anthem, and sometimes they just kicked the door with all the dope.

But the worst were those tiny cells in which we were kept. Very often in the chamber nothing was not - all were selected. I sat there in shorts. All that was in the chamber - my shorts and I did. "

A Brief History of the prison at Guantanamo

January 2002

On the US naval base of Guantanamo (Cuba) come the first 20 prisoners. According to the decree of the Bush administration, they are derived from the application of the Geneva Conventions on prisoners of war. July 2004

Out of jail without charge free Mehdi Geza, who held in Guantanamo for two and a half years. He claims he was tortured. Similar statements are dozens of prisoners released.

June 2006

Four Guantanamo prisoners commit suicide.

January 2009

Barack Obama signed a decree on disbanding the prison. One of the main election promises of the newly elected president must be done within a year.

December 2010

The lower chamber of the US Congress opposed to closing the prison.

January 2011

Obama signs law banning the movement of Guantánamo detainees in the United States due to the Pentagon, as well as moving them to other countries (with very few exceptions). This makes it impossible to close the prison in the foreseeable future.

May 2012

In Guantanamo begins trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, whom the US considered the organizer of the September 11 attacks, and four of his associates.

September 2012

In prison, 167 prisoners remain. Just a Guantanamo held 779 people, eight of them have died in detention.