Thursday, April 23, 2020

I am a serial number

Asadullah Haroon Gul, a detainee still held at Guantanamo wrote this article for the Afghanistan Times:


By Guantánamo ISN 3148 (aka Asadullah Haroon)
The Guantánamo military base is almost invisible to the world; the detainees held here have totally vanished from the world. We are nameless, faceless, referenced by an internment “serial number” – as if we are pieces of hardware, no longer human. A name makes a person individual and unique.  Serial numbers are for inanimate objects. I am No. 3148. It is easy to mistreat something called No. 3148. A number does not have dignity.
Importantly, then, I am also Asadullah Haroon, the Afghan citizen from Nangarhar. My wife waits year after year for news that her husband is coming home. My infant baby, Mariam, is now a teenager.
Twenty-three of us “nobody numbers” remain here in Guantánamo. None is Afghan but me, so there is nobody who speaks either Pashto or Dari and I am in danger of losing my language. At least No. 1094, No. 1460 and No. 1461 are Pakistani, and we can speak some Urdu. No. 1460 was so badly tortured, though, that he would rather live in another block essentially alone with his sad thoughts.

Read the rest here.