Guantánamo ‘detainee 441’ tells his hell after his release without charge

Mansoor Adayfi, of Yemeni origin, was captured in the Afghan war in 2001, when he was just 18 years old, and sent to Guantanamo Bay, the United States prison for terrorist suspects that is in Cuba and remains still open.

There, under the name ‘Detained 441, he spent 15 years imprisoned until he was released without charge in 2016. Now, Adayfi has broken his silence in an interview with the Argentine newspaper The nation, in which he recounts the nightmare he lived in the American prison: brutal interrogations, abuse…

Adayfi arrived in Guantánamo after a ‘warlord’ (a military leader who wields significant power in a region through control of private armed forces) captured him and turned him over to the US military, which offered rewards to those who brought suspects to them. to belong to jihadism. “The ‘warlord’ introduced me to the CIA as an Egyptian al-Qaeda general,” he says in the interview.

Mansoor Adayfi, a former Guantanamo prisoner in Serbia.Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

From there he arrived in Cuba to enter Guantanamo, where he would live a 15-year ordeal in which he suffered all kinds of abuse, with brutal interrogations and beatings by his guards, as well as force-feeding during the various hunger strikes promoted by Adayfi himself. during his stay in prison to protest against the inhumane conditions in which the prisoners lived.

After the arrival of Barack Obama to the White House, Adayfi assures that the living conditions in the controversial prison were more bearable since the detainees were able to interact with each other and learn different trades. The “golden age”, as the now ex-convict of Guantanamo calls it.

However, the change did not eliminate the psychological and emotional scars he had suffered. Imprisonment has marked him to such an extent that in each interview he always wears an orange handkerchief, the same as the prisoner’s suit that he had to wear for a decade and a half.

Mansoor Adayfi, a former Guantanamo prisoner in Serbia.Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

He could never return to his country

After his release, Adayfi was forced to live in Serbia, as part of an agreement between the Serbian government and the United States. He remains there because he has not been able to return to his country, although he has just obtained his passport and will travel again: “God willing, I will be able to travel. Whoa, finally. For the world ”, he celebrates.

Out of prison now, Adayfi coordinates the NGO CAGE, a non-governmental organization that promotes the closure of the prison. She has also published a memoir (don’t forget us here) that he began writing behind bars and in which he narrates the horrors he faced as a prisoner of war. Guantánamo is “a symbol of injustice, a symbol of oppression, a symbol that legitimizes and encourages other tyrants around the world to create their own Guantánamos and abuse activists and political opponents,” he explains.

Currently, in Guantánamo there are 31 detainees. Several presidents of the United States, such as Joe Biden or Barack Obama, have promised to close the detention center after requests from the Cuban government, which has come to describe the prison as an “appalling prison” and has criticized more than “20 years of scandalous abuses in illegally occupied Cuban territory”.

Source: HuffPost Spain for Athena2 by

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