Please Write to the Forgotten Prisoners in Guantánamo on the 11th Anniversary of the Opening of the Prison


Friday January 11 is the 11th anniversary of the opening of the Bush administration’s “war on terror” prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, an ongoing legal black hole, and an experimental prison for holding Muslim men and boys without rights, and subjecting them to torture and other forms of coercion and abuse, and medical and psychological experimentation.

At Guantánamo, the US authorities manufactured a rationale for holding these men and boys — calling them “the worst of the worst,” and disguising the fact that the majority of them were sold to the US military for substantial bounty payments by their Afghan and Pakistani allies. They did this through the extraction of false statements in which pliant prisoners — whether tortured or otherwise abused, or bribed or pushed until they could take the pressure no longer — made false statements about their fellow prisoners, and/or themselves, which continue to be regarded as something resembling evidence by all three branches of the US government, even though the closest analogy for what this information is in reality can be found in the false statements uttered by the victims of the witch hunts in the 17th century.

For those who are concerned about the ongoing existence of Guantánamo, this is a worthwhile time to write to the remaining 166 prisoners, to let them know that they have not been forgotten. Disturbingly, they have largely been abandoned by the Obama administration, by Congress, by the courts, by the media and by the American public, even though 86 of them were cleared for release three years ago by an interagency Guantánamo Review Task Force established by President Obama to review the cases of all the prisoners, and even though around half of them were previously cleared for release, between 2004 and 2007, by military review boards established by President Bush.

For both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, it seems to me, there is no better time to send a message of support to the remaining prisoners in Guantánamo.

The letter-writing campaign that I am inviting you to join was started two and a half years ago by two Facebook friends, Shahrina J. Ahmed and Mahfuja Bint Ammu, and it has been repeated every six months (see here, here and here). Its continued importance can be gleaned from the fact that, although President Obama has released around 70 prisoners since taking office four years ago, it is depressing to note that just 13 prisoners have left Guantánamo alive in the last two and a half years, and three others left in coffins, including, most recently, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, a Yemeni with mental health problems, who was repeatedly cleared for release, but who died in September last year, in circumstances that have not been adequately explained.

So please, if you care about justice, and about the indefinite detention of men, who, whether cleared or not, have become scapegoats in America’s institutionalized disdain for acceptable forms of detention, write to any or all of the remaining 168 prisoners. If you are an Arabic speaker, or speak any other languages spoken by the prisoners besides English, feel free to write in those languages. Do please note that any messages that can be construed as political should be avoided, as they may lead to the letters not making it past the Pentagon’s censors, but be aware that your messages may not get through anyway — although please don’t let that put you off (see the note at the bottom of this article to explain why letters might be returned without explanation).

If you want any more encouragement about the significance for prisoners of receiving letters, then please watch the short film below — part of Amnesty International’s ongoing letter-writing campaign— featuring my friend, the former prisoner Omar Deghayes, showing letters he received in Guantánamo and explaining how much they meant to him — and to his fellow prisoners. This was filmed as part of an interview with Omar that is featured in the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (directed by Polly Nash and myself), and available on DVD here — or here for the US.

Please write to the remaining 166 prisoners in Guantánamo

When writing to the prisoners please ensure you include their full name and ISN (internment serial number) below (these are the numbers before their names, i.e. Shaker Aamer ISN 239).

Please address all letters to:

Detainee Name
Detainee ISN
U.S. Naval Station
Guantánamo Bay
Washington, D.C. 20355
United States of America

Please also include a return address on the envelope.

1. 004 Wasiq, Abdul-Haq (Afghanistan)
2. 006 Noori, Mullah Norullah (Afghanistan)
3. 007 Fazil, Mullah Mohammed (Afghanistan)
4. 026 Ghazi, Fahed (Yemen)
5. 027 Uthman, Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed (Yemen)
6. 028 Al Alawi, Muaz (Yemen)
7. 029 Al Ansi, Mohammed (Yemen)
8. 030 Al Hakimi, Ahmed (Yemen)
9. 031 Al Mujahid, Mahmoud (Yemen)
10. 033 Al Adahi, Mohammed (Yemen)
11. 034 Al Yafi, Abdullah (Yemen)
12. 035 Qader Idris, Idris (Yemen)
13. 036 Idris, Ibrahim (Sudan)
14. 037 Al Rahabi, Abdul Malik (Yemen)
15. 038 Al Yazidi, Ridah (Tunisia)
16. 039 Al Bahlul, Ali Hamza (Yemen)
17. 040 Al Mudafari, Abdel Qadir (Yemen)
18. 041 Ahmad, Majid (Yemen)
19. 042 Shalabi, Abdul Rahman (Saudi Arabia)
20. 043 Moqbel, Samir (Yemen)
21. 044 Ghanim, Mohammed (Yemen)
22. 045 Al Rezehi, Ali Ahmad (Yemen)
23. 063 Al Qahtani, Mohammed (Saudi Arabia)
24. 088 Awad, Adham Ali (Yemen)
25. 091 Al Saleh, Abdul (Yemen)
26. 115 Naser, Abdul Rahman (Yemen)
27. 117 Al Warafi, Muktar (Yemen)
28. 128 Al Bihani, Ghaleb (Yemen)
29. 131 Ben Kend, Salem (Yemen)
30. 152 Al Khalaqi, Asim (Yemen)
31. 153 Suleiman, Fayiz (Yemen)
32. 163 Al Qadasi, Khalid (Yemen)
33. 165 Al Busayss, Said (Yemen)
34. 167 Al Raimi, Ali Yahya (Yemen)
35. 168 Hakimi, Adel (Hakeemy) (Tunisia)
36. 170 Masud, Sharaf (Yemen)
37. 171 Alahdal, Abu Bakr (Yemen)
38. 174 Sliti, Hisham (Tunisia)
39. 178 Baada, Tareq (Yemen)
40. 189 Gherebi, Salem (Libya)
41. 195 Al Shumrani, Mohammed (Saudi Arabia)
42. 197 Chekhouri, Younis (Morocco)
43. 200 Al Qahtani, Said (Saudi Arabia)
44. 202 Bin Atef, Mahmoud (Yemen)
45. 223 Sulayman, Abdul Rahman (Yemen)
46. 224 Muhammad, Abdul Rahman (Yemen)
47. 232 Al Odah, Fawzi (Kuwait)
48. 233 Salih, Abdul (Yemen)
49. 235 Jarabh, Saeed (Yemen)
50. 238 Hadjarab, Nabil (Algeria-France)
51. 239 Aamer, Shaker (UK-Saudi Arabia)
52. 240 Al Shabli, Abdullah (Saudi Arabia)
53. 242 Qasim, Khaled (Yemen)
54. 244 Nassir, Abdul Latif (Morocco)
55. 249 Al Hamiri, Mohammed (Yemen)
56. 251 Bin Salem, Mohammed (Yemen)
57. 254 Khenaina, Mohammed (Yemen)
58. 255 Hatim, Said (Yemen)
59. 257 Abdulayev, Umar (Tajikistan)
60. 259 Hintif, Fadil (Yemen)
61. 275 Abbas, Yusef (Abdusabar) (China)
62. 280 Khalik, Saidullah (Khalid) (China)
63. 282 Abdulghupur, Hajiakbar (China)
64. 288 Saib, Motai (Algeria)
65. 290 Belbacha, Ahmed (Algeria)
66. 309 Abdal Sattar, Muieen (UAE)
67. 310 Ameziane, Djamel (Algeria)
68. 321 Kuman, Ahmed Yaslam Said (Yemen)
69. 324 Al Sabri, Mashur (Yemen)
70. 326 Ajam, Ahmed (Syria)
71. 327 Shaaban, Ali Hussein (Syria)
72. 329 Al Hamawe, Abu Omar (Syria)
73. 434 Al Shamyri, Mustafa (Yemen)
74. 440 Bawazir, Mohammed (Yemen)
75. 441 Al Zahri, Abdul Rahman (Yemen)
76. 461 Al Qyati, Abdul Rahman (Yemen)
77. 498 Haidel, Mohammed (Yemen)
78. 502 Ourgy, Abdul (Tunisia)
79. 506 Al Dhuby, Khalid (Yemen)
80. 508 Al Rabie, Salman (Yemen)
81. 509 Khusruf, Mohammed (Yemen)
82. 511 Al Nahdi, Sulaiman (Yemen)
83. 522 Ismail, Yasin (Yemen)
84. 535 El Sawah, Tariq (Egypt)
85. 549 Al Dayi, Omar (Yemen)
86. 550 Zaid, Walid (Yemen)
87. 552 Al Kandari, Fayiz (Kuwait)
88. 553 Al Baidhani, Abdul Khaliq (Saudi Arabia)
89. 554 Al Assani, Fehmi (Yemen)
90. 560 Mohammed, Haji Wali (Afghanistan)
91. 564 Bin Amer, Jalal (Yemen)
92. 566 Qattaa, Mansoor (Saudi Arabia)
93. 569 Al Shorabi, Zohair (Yemen)
94. 570 Al Qurashi, Sabri (Yemen)
95. 572 Al Zabe, Salah (Saudi Arabia)
96. 574 Al Wady, Hamoud (Yemen)
97. 575 Al Azani, Saad (Yemen)
98. 576 Bin Hamdoun, Zahir (Yemen)
99. 578 Al Suadi, Abdul Aziz (Yemen)
100. 579 Khairkhwa, Khairullah (Afghanistan)
101. 680 Hassan, Emad (Yemen)
102. 682 Al Sharbi, Ghassan (Saudi Arabia)
103. 684 Tahamuttan, Mohammed (Palestine)
104. 685 Ali, Abdelrazak (Algeria)
105. 686 Hakim, Abdel (Yemen)
106. 688 Ahmed, Fahmi (Yemen)
107. 689 Salam, Mohamed (Yemen)
108. 690 Qader, Ahmed Abdul (Yemen)
109. 691 Al Zarnuki, Mohammed (Yemen)
110. 694 Barhoumi, Sufyian (Algeria)
111. 695 Abu Bakr, Omar (Omar Mohammed Khalifh) (Libya)
112. 696 Al Qahtani, Jabran (Saudi Arabia)
113. 702 Mingazov, Ravil (Russia)
114. 707 Muhammed, Noor Uthman (Sudan)
115. 708 Al Bakush, Ismael (Libya)
116. 713 Al Zahrani, Mohammed (Saudi Arabia)
117. 722 Diyab, Jihad (Syria)
118. 728 Nassir, Jamil (Yemen)
119. 753 Zahir, Abdul (Afghanistan)
120. 757 Abdul Aziz, Ahmed Ould (Mauritania)
121. 760 Slahi, Mohamedou Ould (Salahi) (Mauritania)
122. 762 Obaidullah (Afghanistan)
123. 768 Al Darbi, Ahmed Mohammed (Saudi Arabia)
124. 832 Omari, Mohammed Nabi (Afghanistan)
125. 836 Saleh, Ayoub Murshid Ali (Yemen)
126. 837 Al Marwalah, Bashir (Yemen)
127. 838 Balzuhair, Shawki Awad (Yemen)
128. 839 Al Mudwani, Musab (Musa’ab Al Madhwani) (Yemen)
129. 840 Al Maythali, Hail Aziz Ahmed (Yemen)
130. 841 Nashir, Said Salih Said (Yemen)
131. 893 Al Bihani, Tawfiq (Saudi Arabia)
132. 894 Abdul Rahman, Mohammed (Tunisia)
133. 899 Khan, Shawali (Afghanistan)
134. 928 Gul, Khi Ali (Afghanistan)
135. 934 Ghani, Abdul (Afghanistan)
136. 975 Karim, Bostan (Afghanistan)
137. 1015 Almerfedi, Hussein (Yemen)
138. 1017 Al Rammah, Omar (Zakaria al-Baidany) (Yemen)
139. 1045 Kamin, Mohammed (Afghanistan)
140. 1094 Paracha, Saifullah (Pakistan)
141. 1103 Zahir, Mohammed (Afghanistan)
142. 1119 Hamidullah, Haji (Afghanistan)
143. 1453 Al Kazimi, Sanad (Yemen)
144. 1456 Bin Attash, Hassan (Saudi Arabia)
145. 1457 Sharqawi, Abdu Ali (Yemen)
146. 1460 Rabbani, Abdul Rahim Ghulam (Pakistan)
147. 1461 Rabbani, Mohammed Ghulam (Pakistan)
148. 1463 Al Hela, Abdulsalam (Yemen)
149. 10001 Bensayah, Belkacem (Bosnia-Algeria)
150. 10011 Al Hawsawi, Mustafa (Saudi Arabia)
151. 10013 Bin Al Shibh, Ramzi (Yemen)
152. 10014 Bin Attash, Waleed (Saudi Arabia)
153. 10015 Al Nashiri, Abd Al Rahim (Saudi Arabia)
154. 10016 Zubaydah, Abu (Palestine-Saudi Arabia)
155. 10017 Al Libi, Abu Faraj (Libya)
156. 10018 Al Baluchi, Ammar (Ali Abd Al Aziz Ali) (Pakistan-Kuwait)
157. 10019 Isamuddin, Riduan (Hamlili) (Indonesia)
158. 10020 Khan, Majid (Pakistan)
159. 10021 Bin Amin, Modh Farik (Zubair) (Malaysia)
160. 10022 Bin Lep, Mohammed (Lillie) (Malaysia)
161. 10023 Dourad, Gouled Hassan (Somalia)
162. 10024 Mohammed, Khalid Sheikh (Pakistan-Kuwait)
163. 10025 Malik, Mohammed Abdul (Kenya)
164. 10026 Al Iraqi, Abd Al Hadi (Iraq)
165. 3148 Al Afghani, Haroon (Afghanistan)
166. 10029 Rahim, Muhammad (Afghanistan)

Please also note that an additional prisoner, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani (ISN 10012, Tanzania) was transferred to the US mainland from Guantánamo in May 2009 and received a life sentence after a federal court trial in January 2011. He is being held in the Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado. To send a letter, the address is as follows (the number following his name is his unique prison number):

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani (02476-748)
USP Florence Admax
U.S. Penitentiary
PO Box 8500
Florence, Co. 81226

Note: For further information on the prisoners, see my four-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list (Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four).

10 Responses

  1. [ACTION] Please Write to the Forgotten Prisoners in Guantánamo on the 11th Anniversary of the Opening of the Prison « says...

    […] Source […]

  2. | HUNGER STRIKE AT GUANTANAMO: Emergency Response & Call to Action says...

    […] WRITE A LETTER to at least one of the detainees at Guantanamo. Addresses, names, and instructions:… […]

  3. Deborah Schuster says...

    I sent this to all Afghanistan prisoners. It includes a color picture of Afghani people in their blue scarves and the text is in color:

    I am writing to assure you that you have not been forgotten. I believe that if we want peace, we have to work for justice.

    I pray that justice will be swift for you. I have made and distributed over 200 blue scarves.

    After 3 decades of endless war the once-thriving people of Afghanistan have been brought to their knees. Facing near hopelessness there came a simple thought, why not love?
    A small group of women took to the streets wearing blue scarves. They chose blue as a unifying color because the whole world shares one blue sky. Next, men and women stood together all wearing blue scarves. Armed only with their love they faced riot police and smiled 🙂 “Love is how we’ll ask for peace.” The Blue Scarf has become a universal symbol of togetherness from Afghanistan to EVERYWHERE. The Blue Scarf can tie the world together. A global movement has arrived. It starts with YOU.

    Praying for peace,

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks you, Deborah. A fine project!

  5. jane white says...

    please help by writing to senate thx

  6. jane white says...

    please write senate congress man/woman and the president to look into human rights violations,tortures and unfair treatment of prisoner of war.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Jane, for your support of the prisoners.

  8. arcticredriver says...

    Andy, here is something I wish I had known earlier. Charlie Savage of the NYTimes interviewed Milton, the civilian who manages the prison library at Guantanamo:

    Milton has a small budget for new acquisitions, and detainees’ lawyers and family members can send books to specific inmates through the International Committee of the Red Cross. Those copies are first donated to the library and then passed along to the prisoners, who can keep them in their cells for up to 60 days, rather than the usual 30.

    A few years ago I earned an Amazon gift certificate, and decided to try to use it to send some books directly to Omar Khadr, via Amazon. Through Amazon’s shipment tracking function I could see that shipment bounce around Washington for a week or so, before finally being returned to Amazon.

    Savage’s quote says “lawyers and family members” can send books via the Red Cross. I wonder if book donations from others can be sent through the Red Cross?

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    That’s very interesting, arcticredriver. Perhaps you might approach some lawyers for the prisoners, and ask them?

  10. – Please Write to the Hunger Striking Prisoners at Guantánamo says...

    […] The letter-writing campaign was started two and a half years ago by two Facebook friends, Shahrina J. Ahmed and Mahfuja Bint Ammu, and it has been repeated every six months (see here, here, here and here). […]

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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).
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