Guantánamo Is “A Piece of Hell That Kills Everything”: A Bleak New Year Message from Yemeni Prisoner Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif


On Christmas Day, I wrote an article reminding readers of the plight of the remaining 174 prisoners in Guantánamo, and specifically focusing on the case of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, a mentally troubled Yemeni prisoner who has attempted to commit suicide on several occasions. Despite being cleared for release in 2007 by the Bush administration, and winning his habeas corpus petition in the District Court in Washington D.C. in July 2010, Latif remains in Guantánamo, as, distressingly, the Obama administration has chosen to appeal against his successful habeas petition.

Even if the Obama administration had not taken this inexplicable — or deeply cyncial — step, Latif would still be held, because of a moratorium on releasing any Yemeni prisoners from Guantánamo, which was issued by President Obama last January after a hysterical response to the news that the failed Christmas Day plane bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, had been recruited in Yemen. This is unforgivable in and of itself, as it consigns the 58 Yemenis “approved for transfer” by the President’s Guantánamo Review Task Force to the status of political prisoners, detained through an unacceptable belief in the collective guilt of the Yemeni people.

With just ten days to go before the 9th anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo, Latif’s attorney, David Remes, has released an unclassified letter from his client, in which Latif expresses his despair at his abandonment by the US justice system — and by his own country.

I am cross-posting the letter below, in the hope of awakening outrage in the hearts of at least some members of the American public who have decided that the ongoing injustice of Guantánamo is somehow irrelevant.

A letter from Guantánamo, by Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif

To Attorney David Remes who dedicated his efforts to work on my dead case. The case that has been buried by its makers under the wreckage of freedom, justice, and the malicious and cursed politics.

Testimony and Consolation

I offer my dead corpse to the coming Yemeni delegation.

They agreed on the torture and agonies that I went through all those years.

They knew that I am innocent and at the same time ill and that I left my country to seek treatment.

This is also a message to the Yemeni people who bear the responsibility of my death in front of God and the responsibility of all of the other Yemenis inside this prison. This prison is a piece of hell that kills everything, the spirit, the body and kicks away all the symptoms of health from them.

A Testimony of Death

A testimony against injustice and against the propagandists of freedom, justice and equality.

Adnan Farhan Abdulatif while in the throes of death.


Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in July 2010, details about the new documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, currently on tour in the UK, and available on DVD here), my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

As published exclusively on Cageprisoners.

19 Responses

  1. Guantánamo Is “A Piece of Hell That Kills Everything”: A Bleak New Year Message from Yemeni Prisoner Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif | Andy Worthington « Yahyasheikho786's Blog says...

    […] Guantánamo Is “A Piece of Hell That Kills Everything”: A Bleak New Year Message from Yemeni Pri…. […]

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, Ruth Gilburt wrote:

    so much still to fight for and against, Andy x

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Kevi Brannelly wrote:

    thank you andy for not letting people forget–the struggle continues

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Ruth and Kevi. Good to hear from you, and I hope you’ve had some peace and relaxation this Christmas and New Year.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    And some comments from Information Clearing House:

    Peter RV wrote:

    And we dare give lectures to anybody on ‘human rights’.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    guest wrote:

    Consider that wealthy Americans who support right wing politics and who profit from exploiting people around the world, are an entirely different breed than ordinary Americans. Super-wealthy war profiteers who bribe and threaten politicians need to be constrained. America also has many good people – in about the same ratios that other countries have good people.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    davidgrayling replied:

    Where are these ‘good’ people when it comes time to stop the rot in their country, Guest? Most of them don’t even know what their country is doing!

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    rosemerry wrote:

    The wealthy are being helped by Obama and the Congress, which is supposed to “represent” the US population. The ordinary citizen gets NO representation, and I do not understand why they put up with this complete lack of democracy, where the lobbies-Pentagon, corporations, AIPAC and others, allow (ensure) the election of infrahumans who care not at all about real people, environment or the planet itself. Wake up and do something, Mercans!!!

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    citizin wrote:

    They will pay for every crime they inflicted on others one day.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    davidgrayling also wrote:

    Guantanamo is a beacon on a hill! It signals the extent of the depravity and immorality that the U.S. has sunk to.

    No longer can the U.S. claim to be a leader of the forces for justice, freedom and democracy. It is now the most evil nation on earth, the most bloodthirsty, the most greedy.

    The fault lies partly with its corrupt leadership and partly with its citizens, some of whom see what it has become yet do little or nothing.

    If there is a worm in the apple, it must be cut out before the whole fruit is spoiled. American citizens must stand up and get rid of the many worms which now infest their country. If they don’t the whole world will have to pay a heavy price.

    Rescue America Americans while there is still something worth rescuing!

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    LEX TALIONIS wrote:

    david grayling is right. Guantanamo is a definite beacon for the world to see and clearly represents a stinking example of what is truly rotten in America. It used to be the Statue of Liberty with her burning torch of hope for all those who held America in high esteem around the world, applauding her largesse and spirit of freedom. However, the world now knows the extent of the evil which prevails in that god forsaken country . I say God forsaken, for surely, no god fearing US citizen would countenance what its leaders have done to destroy world opinion? I call upon any American with conscience who values whether others may regard that country in favourable light to at least SPEAK OUT NOW . Use ICH or any other means of communication to let everyone know which level of humanity they belong. Silence in the face of evil is tantamount to condonement !!
    Don’t be afraid to speak !!

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Miss Evans wrote:

    Criminal Obama has kept these 58 Yemenis locked up and tortured for another year, for no reason.

  13. Ilse Hadda says...

    Obama, along with Bush and cohorts must be indicted for war crimes!

  14. What the U.S. Prison at Guantanamo Accomplished – Left Blog Feeds- Progressive News says...

    […] Worthington published this letter last week, from a Yemini detainee: A letter from Guantánamo, by Adnan Farhan Abdul […]

  15. Regina Kaniewski-Turcios says...

    I am a British woman married to a wrongfully imprisoned Salvadoran in California. My husband was imprisoned 22 years ago after all of his rights had been violated and they continue to be violated to this day. I feel desperately sad and angry on behalf of the Guantanamo prisoners…I have long run out of words to express my despair and disgust …and that is my point….injustice, torture, inequality, prejudice and a theatrical and surreal , carrot and stick joke of a “judicial system” are and have been the norm in the U.S. for many years and nothing short of a total revolution will produce any lasting or worthwhile solutions.

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Regina. I am sorry to hear about your suffering, and that of your husband, and appreciate your getting in touch with your analysis. Revolutionary change may indeed be what is required.

  17. Janice Rogers Brown and Our Failed Justice System Killed Adnan Farhan abd al Latif | emptywheel says...

    […] Three desperate letters Latif wrote to his attorney, David Remes […]

  18. A Testimony of Death | Matt Keefe says...

    […] ‘A letter from Guantánamo’, by Adnan Farhan Abdul […]

  19. about our brother adnan , read this article where he is asking us ““Who Is Going to Rescue Me From the Injustice and the Torture I Am Enduring?” says...

    […] readers concerned with Christian charity on the day dedicated to the birth of Jesus. A week later, I published a harrowing letter from Guantánamo written by Latif and sent to David Remes, and as this has also had no effect, I […]

Leave a Reply

Back to the top

Back to home page

Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
Email Andy Worthington

CD: Love and War

The Four Fathers on Bandcamp

The Guantánamo Files book cover

The Guantánamo Files

The Battle of the Beanfield book cover

The Battle of the Beanfield

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion book cover

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

Outside The Law DVD cover

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo


Posts & Comments

World Wide Web Consortium



Powered by WordPress

Designed by Josh King-Farlow

Please support Andy Worthington, independent journalist:


In Touch

Follow me on Facebook

Become a fan on Facebook

Subscribe to me on YouTubeSubscribe to me on YouTube

The State of London

The State of London. 16 photos of London

Andy's Flickr photos



Tag Cloud

Abu Zubaydah Al-Qaeda Andy Worthington British prisoners Center for Constitutional Rights CIA torture prisons Close Guantanamo Donald Trump Four Fathers Guantanamo Housing crisis Hunger strikes London Military Commission NHS NHS privatisation Periodic Review Boards Photos President Obama Reprieve Shaker Aamer The Four Fathers Torture UK austerity UK protest US courts Video We Stand With Shaker WikiLeaks Yemenis in Guantanamo