Jumah Al-Dossary, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, politely refuses to answer the interviewer’s question about the specific torture he had to endure during his detainment in Guantanamo Bay. “I prefer not to answer that question… I’ll keep it to myself,” he mutters shyly. He thereafter averts his gaze from the interviewer, ending the conversation.
While still detained, Al-Dossary had confessed to his lawyer Joshua Colangelo-Bryan that what he witnessed (as punishment) at the hands of US guards in Guantanamo after/for complaining to a military physician about the torture he was suffering would always haunt him. Soldiers who heard that he had complained had decided to “teach him a lesson” by blindfolding him and taking him to another part of the Guantanamo Bay camp.
“I heard an Afghan prisoner scream. He was crying and saying, “Oh Allah! Oh God!” That was all he could understand of the man’s screams. He was led toward the screaming, which grew louder and louder, and then his blindfold was pulled off. “I saw an Afghan brother in his fifties. He had a lot of white hair in his beard, and he was tied to the ground. Soldiers were holding on to his shackles, and he was naked lying on his stomach. One of the soldiers was sexually assaulting (sodomising) him. One of the soldiers was videotaping.” Al-Dossary was told that he would face the same fate if he dared to speak out again. (My Guantanamo diary: The detainees and the stories they told me, Khan, M.R.)
The constant stress and fear of physical and psychological abuse and his feelings of helplessness and guilt for not being able to do anything to better the situation of other detainees, such as the detainee he witnessed being raped, drove Al-Dossary into such a deep depression that he attempted suicide seventeen times and his lawyer Colangelo-Bryan reported that he spent most of his meetings with Al-Dossary trying to convince him that he shouldn’t kill himself instead of working on his case.
While imprisoned, Al-Dossary wrote a poem titled “Death Poem.”
Take my blood.
Take my death shroud and
The remnants of my body.
Take photographs of my corpse at the grave, lonely.
Send them to the world,
To the judges and
To the people of conscience,
Send them to the principled men and the fair-minded.
And let them bear the guilty burden before the world,
Of this innocent soul.
Let them bear the burden before their children and before history,
Of this wasted, sinless soul,
Of this soul which has suffered at the hands of the “protectors of peace.”