• Press Release

Transfer of Guantánamo Detainee Slahi Long Overdue

October 17, 2016

Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who has been held in the Guantanamo detention camp without charge or trial since 2002, has been transferred back to his home country of Mauritania. After voluntarily submitting himself for questioning in his home country in 2001, he was detained in Jordan and the Bagram prison in Afghanistan before being sent to Guantanamo. There is compelling evidence that he was subjected to torture and other ill-treatment during his detention.

In 2015, Slahi’s notes to his lawyers detailing his time in Guantánamo were published under the title Guantánamo Diary. Slahi was allegedly deprived of sleep for nearly 70 days straight, subjected to strobe lighting and continuous loud heavy metal music, threats against him and his family, intimidation by dog, cold temperatures, dousing with cold water, physical assaults, and food deprivation. He was never charged with a crime.

“Mr. Slahi’s 14 years of unlawful detention and torture are unconscionable, and his transfer is long overdue,” said Elizabeth Beavers, senior campaigner with Amnesty International USA. “His accounts of his treatment provided a chilling insight into the reality suffered by those unlawfully held for more than a decade without charge.

“There are now 60 men still held in Guantánamo. Each must be charged and tried through fair trial in federal court, or be released to a country that will protect their human rights.

“President Obama must close the prison at Guantánamo Bay during his term in office, and ensure accountability for the torture that many have suffered.”

Last week, Amnesty International USA launched a campaign asking President Obama to prioritize human rights during his last 100 days in office, including closing Guantánamo.