Thursday, January 20, 2022

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    I have been in Guantanamo for 20 years without trial.Biden, release me | Khalid Kasim

    Injustice takes many forms. After being detained in the United States for 20 years, I spent most of my time in Guantanamo, but I can say that I am an expert.

    You may be surprised to find out that I think America has a very good judicial system. But it’s only for Americans. For someone like me, justice is not interesting to the United States. I would like people to understand the characteristics of Guantanamo.

    In Guantanamo, the torture we are exposed to is not limited to the interrogation room. It exists in our daily lives. This deliberate psychological torture makes Guantanamo different. There is interference in every aspect of my existence-my sleep, my food, my walking.

    “America has a very good judicial system, but it’s only for Americans.” Art by Khalid Quasim. Illustration: Khalid Quasim

    For the first nine years in Guantanamo, I was imprisoned in a cell. It was a tougher and more violent place at the time. The joint block, opened in 2010, made a difference, but intentional mental torture remains the same. The rules are always changed without warning. Some guards and some governments are more cruel than others.

    Imagine when you’re watching TV, someone came behind you and started kicking you lightly. If it happens only a little, it doesn’t matter. But no matter how often you tell them to stop, they keep kicking you endlessly and say there’s nothing you can do about it. Imagine what kind of torture it would be.

    The only freedom I have here is to protest. Overall, I’ve been on a hunger strike for seven years. For seven years, I feel not only dead, but not alive. I believe in facing prison officers. They control my body, but not my mind. They tried to prevent me from learning, but I have anyway.

    Drawing a picture was my relief. I am proud of my art. Perhaps you have seen some of the works I was able to get out of here? When it was exhibited in New York, I thought about paintings overlooking the elegant cityscape and large buildings, and the wonderful city people couldn’t imagine our lives.

    “The painting was my relief.” Illustration: Khalid Quasim

    But even this relief was taken away from me. My prisoners refuse to allow me to send my art from prison. I can’t show my lawyer because they make it difficult to make a copy of what I drew. So it will be a burden. When I draw a picture, it’s painful to know that no one can see my work.

    We were optimistic and believed in him when President Obama said he would close Guantanamo. I hope President Biden will fulfill that promise. He must do everything he can to close the prison – not for us, but for the United States.

    Other countries once respected the United States for human rights, but they are no longer. The claim that the United States defends human rights is hollow. When Biden criticized Russia, Putin replied, “How about GTMO?” When you close it, it begins to repair damage to American reputation.

    The golden age of my life has been wasted in Guantanamo. If what happened to me happened in America, they would give me millions of dollars. I’m in Guantanamo, so I’m an Arab, I’m Yemeni, so no one cares.

    But I want you to know that I am a hopeful person. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but there is another life outside this prison.

    I have been in Guantanamo for 20 years without trial.Biden, release me | Khalid Kasim

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    The post I have been in Guantanamo for 20 years without trial.Biden, release me | Khalid Kasim appeared first on Eminetra.

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