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Guantanamo Bay should close, says former detainee

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he US must close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp because it is making a mockery of the rule of law and human rights, according to a former detainee.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi spent 14 years incarcerated without trial after being accused of involvement in planning the September 11 atrocities.

He arrived in Guantanamo Bay in 2002 after secret rendition through Jordan and Afghanistan, where he was then subjected to torture, including assault, being blasted with heavy metal music and strobe lighting and deprived of sleep for 70 days.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi spent 14 years incarcerated without trial at Guantanamo Bay (Nick Smith Photography/University of Bristol/PA)

Mr Slahi, 51, detailed his experiences in his book, Guantanamo Diary, which was published in 2015 and remains the first and only memoir by a still-imprisoned detainee.

His memoir was later turned into the film, The Mauritanian, starring Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim and Benedict Cumberbatch.

He is in the UK for a speaking tour to mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of Guantanamo Bay and to continue the campaign against torture.

Speaking ahead of the first event, at the University of Bristol, Mr Slahi said he was not surprised the camp remained open.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi (centre) was speaking at the event at the the University of Bristol with lawyer Nancy Hollander (left) and Sir Malcolm Evans (Nick Smith Photography/University of Bristol/PA)

“Of course, I can believe that it’s still open, it’s very painful, but from what I had seen, from what I have witnessed and, unfortunately, I say this with a broken heart, I’m not surprised,” he said.

“After 9/11 the US acted – at least when it came to certain ethnicities, like young Muslim men – acted as a fascist regime.

“They said we didn’t deserve human rights, we don’t deserve due process and the government that is the executive power can decide everything – playing the judge, the jury and the executioner.

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