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Mar 16, 2021

Few places in the world symbolize America’s “War On Terror” as poignantly as Guantanamo Bay. Opened in January 2002, the detention center has extrajudicially imprisoned terrorism suspects without due process throughout four presidencies. One such prisoner was Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a man from Mauritania, who was kidnapped, tortured, and detained without charges, for fourteen years. While imprisoned, Mohamedou wrote a memoir about his confinement. After a lengthy review process, the book was published in 2015, quickly became a best-seller, and was adapted into the film The Mauritanian, released last month. This week, Mohamedou speaks with the Eurasia Group Foundation’s Mark Hannah to reflect on his experience, his newfound freedom, and America's role in the world today.


Mohamedou Ould Slahi is a Mauritanian writer. In 2001, Mohemadou was detained through the United States' extraordinary rendition program under suspicion that he was a member of the terrorist group Al Qaeda, and later imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay without charge. While imprisoned, Mohamedou was subjected to what the United States refers to as enhanced integration techniques, described by many as torture. Mohamedou published Guantanamo Diary, a memoir of his imprisonment, and he successfully petitioned for his own release in 2016. He now lives in Nouakchott, Mauritania where he is still waiting to be reunited with his family in Germany. His latest book is The Actual True Story of Ahmed and Zarga (2021).