Mohamedou Ould Slahi is a Mauritanian who has been detained at Guantánamo Bay detention camp since August 4, 2002. He is being held under the authority of Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), alleged by the US government to be "part of" al Qaeda at the time of his arrest.
Slahi traveled to Afghanistan in December 1990 "to support the mujahideen". At that time, the mujahideen in Afghanistan were attempting to topple the communist government of Mohammad Najibullah. Slahi trained in an al Qaeda camp and swore bayat to al Qaeda in March 1991. He returned to Germany soon after but then traveled back to Afghanistan for three months in early 1992. Slahi states that he "severed all ties with ... al-Qaeda" after he left Afghanistan at that time. The U.S. government maintains that Slahi "recruited for al-Qaeda and provided it with other support" since then. Slahi turned himself in to Mauritanian authorities for questioning about the Millennium Plot on November 20, 2001. He was detained for seven days and questioned by Mauritanian officers and by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Eventually, the CIA rendered him to Jordan where he was held for eight months at a black site. Slahi states that he was tortured by the Jordanians. After being flown to Afghanistan and held for two weeks, he was transferred to military custody and the Guantánamo Bay detention camp in Cuba on August 4, 2002.
Slahi was subjected to isolation, temperature extremes, beatings and sexual humiliation at Guantánamo. In one documented incident, he was blindfolded and taken out to sea in a boat for a mock execution. Lt. Col Stuart Couch refused to prosecute Slahi in a Military Commission in 2003. He said in 2007 that "Slahi's incriminating statements—the core of the government's case—had been taken through torture, rendering them inadmissible under U.S. and international law." Following the Supreme Court decision in Boumediene v. Bush, Slahi challenged the lawfulness of his detention in federal district court. Judge James Robertson granted a writ of habeas corpus ordering Slahi to be released on March 22, 2010. In his unclassified opinion, Judge Robertson wrote: "associations alone are not enough, of course, to make detention lawful." The Department of Justice appealed the decision, which was heard on September 17, 2010. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the ruling and remanded the case to the District Court on November 5, 2010 for further factual findings.
Slahi wrote a memoir in prison in 2005, which the US government declassified in 2013 with some redactions. Slate published excerpts from the memoirs as a series beginning in April 2013. The book, "Guantánamo Diary", was published in 2015. It is the first work to be released by a still-imprisoned detainee at Guantánamo
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