Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Poems from Guantanamo under print
Nearly 380, some still not accused of any crime, remain prisoners.
Thu, 21 Jun 2007 02:56:04
Poems scratched on styrofoam cups and written with toothpaste by inmates at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay are to form a collection.
University of Iowa Press will publish 5,000 copies of the book, 'Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak,' in August. The collection includes 22 works by 17 prisoners at the US naval prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Volunteer lawyers for the detainees collected works of their clients, most of whom remain in the prison. The works were translated into English under the scrutiny of the US Department of Defense for publication.
One of the works, "Death Poem" by 33-year-old Bahraini Jumah al-Dossari, reveals his plight in the US 'war on terror' prison since early 2002:
Take my blood.
Take my death shroud and
The remnants of my body.
Take photographs of my corpse at the grave,
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.”
Allison Thomas, publicist of University of Iowa Press, felt that in publishing the works, the Iowa Press was fulfilling its duty in promoting engagement and providing knowledge for 'the informed public on which democracy depends.'
The US has placed nearly 800 of its 'war on terror' detainees in Guantanamo since 2002, and nearly 380, some still not accused of any crime, remain prisoners at the facility.
Link for the book at the University of Iowa Press