Despite Global Recognition, the Plight of Guantánamo’s Best-Selling Author Worsens

Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s 13th year of captivity in Guantánamo has been remarkable in many ways.

Guantánamo Diary,” his story of torture and unlawful detention by the United States, was finally published and has become a best-seller, earning rave reviews around the world and a Hollywood movie deal. Readers continue to marvel at a book that’s been called a “masterpiece” and “literary magic,” written by a man whose “unfailing humanity is the constant thread throughout.” Celebrities like Jude Law and Benedict Cumberbatch are reading Mohamedou’s work for a global audience. Almost 50,000 people have signed the ACLU’s petition calling for his freedom.

But Mohamedou’s despair only grows, because the Obama administration is still denying this innocent man what he most urgently needs: freedom.

Today, we asked a federal judge to order the Defense Department to give Mohamedou a hearing mandated years ago by President Obama. That hearing, before a Pentagon body called the Periodic Review Board (PRB), would give Mohamedou the opportunity to show that he poses no threat to the United States and must be set free. He’s entitled by law to this administrative process, and it could be the key to sending him home.

We also asked the court to end harsh restrictions the Defense Department recently imposed on Mohamedou without any explanation, depriving him of personal items that give him comfort, including family photos and gifts from U.S. military prison guards who became his friends. These cruel deprivations are making Mohamedou’s ordeal even more unendurable.

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