tv Democracy Now LINKTV September 27, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
black site. amy: today we spend the hour with mansoor adayfi who was imprisoned at guantanamo for over 14 years after being sold as a teenager to the cia by an afghan warlord after the 9/11 attacks stop at the time he was released, he is have his life in u.s. custody but was never charged with the crime. he will talk about being tortured and what he repeatedly went on hunger strike to protest inhumane conditions. >> we were hurting ourselves. i always tell the people, our bodies on the battlefield because americans tortured us, but used as -- abuse does. i wrote about the hunger strike a journey toward debt, the hunger strike. amy: mansoor adayfi will also talk about his new memoir "don't forget us here: lost and found at guantanamo." how art helped him and others
survive the prison. >> art can access to the world outside. -- art connects us to the world outside. the things we miss most, the stars, homes, deserts, and so on. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in del rio, texas, a makeshift encampment where up to 30,000 haitian asylum seekers stayed or passed through was cleared by authorities as the biden administration continues to expedite its mass expulsion of migrants without due process. at least five deportation flights took off sunday, with thousands expelled within the past week alone. the international organization for migration said dozens of children with non-haitian passports were among those deported.
homeland security secretary alejandro mayorkas said some 12,000 people were allowed to remain in the u.s. to fight for asylum. meanwhile, an estimated 8000 haitians were forced to cross the border back into mexico after facing violence and being deprived of food, water, and shelter. in haiti's capital port-au-prince, demonstrators condemned the mass deportations -- condemned the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers in the united states. >> we're not here to ask for favors from the united states. we are here demanding they respect that haitian migrants have rights. megan laws we apply to haitians, just as they are applied to those from other countries. amy: meanwhile, haitian prime minister ariel henry told world leaders at the u.n. general assembly that migration will continue as long as massive global inequalities exist.
in germany, the center-left social democratic party has narrowly claimed victory in an election that puts an end to the 16-year era of angela merkel's leadership. merkel's party, the christian democrats, won the second most votes, with the green party coming in third. social democrats will have to form a ruling coalition with -- which could take weeks, or possibly months. the sdp's candidate for chancellor, olaf scholz, who positioned himself as a leader in the vein of angela merkel during his campaign, vowed to tackle the climate crisis and modernize industry. in the occupied west bank, israeli forces on sunday killed at least five palestinians, including a 16-year-old child, during overnight raids. in other news from palestine, political and social leader khalida jarrar has been released from an israeli prison after two years behind bars. jarrar is a leftist activist and a former member of the now-defunct palestinian legislative council.
meanwhile, in new york, palestinian president mahmoud abbas spoke at the u.n. general assembly and said israel had one year to pullout from the occupied territories, threatening to withdraw recognition of israel if it fails to do so. abbas also said palestinians -- israel's actions were driving towards a one-state solution. >> if the israeli occupation authorities continue to entrench the reality of it is happening today, our palestinian people in the entire world will not tolerate such a situation. circumstances on the ground will inevitably impose equal and full political rights for all the land of historic palestine within one state. amy: the pacific island nation of vantu is asking the international court justice to weigh in onhe rights its people to be protected from the climate catastrophe. prime minister bob loughman addressed the u.n. general
assembly saturday. >> limiting warming to 1.5 degrees will be beyond reach. the issues are increasingly alluding the control of individual national governments. amy: hundreds of thousands of youth climate activists took to the streets friday for the annual global climate strike. protests took place across the globe demanding radical action from world leaders to fight the climate catastrophe. this is maria reyes, a climate justice activist in mexico. >> climate crisis is not a thing that will happen in 10, 15 years. climate crisis is here. mexico is one of the most affected countries in latin america. we have scarcity, droughts, floods, heat waves. we are dying of thirst. we are dying because of heat and the government is still financing the fossil fuel industry. amy: in california, firefighters continue to battle multiple wildfires. police arrested a woman
suspected of arson in the fawn fire, which erupted in shasta county last week and led to thousands of evacuations. in the sierra nevada mountains, the knp complex fire is still raging in sequoia national park and has blazed some 45,000 acres. it was just 8% contained as of sunday. in related news, california utility company pacific gas and electric was charged with mansughter over last year's zogg fire, which killed four people. in somalia, al-shabab has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack that killed at least eight people at a checkpoint near the presidential palaceogadishu saturday. somalis have condemned the government for neglecting security ithe country amid a contested, delayed election and ongoing litical disputes. in canada, the conference of catholic bishops apologized for the century-long abuse of indigenous children at government and church runs cash church runs schools. the move comes after the remains of hundreds of students were
found over the summer at the former boarding schools. but the apology falls short of a recommendation by canada's truth and reconciliation commission, which called on pope francis to apologize directly for the church's role in canada's cultural genocide. in switzerland, nearly two-thirds of voters cast ballots in favor of same-sex marriage in a referendum sunday. switzerland was one of the few remaining countries in western europe to approve same-sex marriage. meanwhile, voters in the catholic european microstate of san marino have overwhelmingly voted to legalize abortion in a referendum there. once enacted into law, pregnant people will be able to access abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and in some cases, after 12 weeks. san marino is a small enclave surround by italy. meanwhile, back in the united states, the house passed the women's health protection act friday, weeks after texas enacted a near-total ban on abortion and as the supreme court is set to consider a
challenge to roe v wade later this year. this is california congressmember jackie speier. >> we are not vessels for men to inject their sperm into it and walk away with no consequences. this is my body, not yours. many on the other set of the aisle whine about the freedom they have lost having to wear masks and yet you want to take my freedom to control my body weight for me. they the legislation would enshrine patients' right to terminate a pregnancy and protect providers from state laws that seek to ban the abortion. the bill is not expected to pass in the evenly divided senate. house speaker nancy pelosi said the house will vote on the bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill thursday, pushing an earlier deadline that had been set for today. lawmakers will vote just hours before government funding, and some key transportation programs
are set to expire. progressives democrats have said they will not back the infrastructure measure without congress also approving the $3.5 trillion, 10-year spending plan, which expands the social safety net and addresses the climate crisis. the house budget committee on saturday moved the measure forward for a house vote. here in new york city federal , a judge temporarily blocked a vaccine mandate for new york city teachers and other staffers. the mandate was set to go into effect today and will be reviewed by a legal panel this week. meanwhile, new york governor kathy hochul says she may call in the national guard and out-of-state medical personnel to fill in for tens of thousands of hospitals workers who have not complied with new york's vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. in new mexico, health officials have linked the improper use of ivermectin to at least two deaths. the anti-parasite medication, most commonly used for horses and cattle, was widely touted by
conservative media and others, even though there is no scientific evidence it benefits covid patients and the fda has warned against its use. in chicago, workers at el milgaro tortilla plants staged a temporary walkout last week to protest low pay, staff shortages, and abusive working conditions, including intimidation and sexual harassment. el milagro has claimed an ongoing tortilla shortage is due to supply chain issues, but organizers say the company has been losing staff due to their poor treatment of workers, including their handling of the pandemic. last year, dozens of employees got sick during a covid outbreak and five people died. this is el milagro worker martin sas. >> all we're doing is demanding our rights as employees, just as they have rights as employers, we, too, have rights as workers. ipaq eight tortilla packages per minute. if i don't keep up the pace, tortillas will fall off the
machine and they will blame me. amy: workers have given el milagro management until this wednesday to respond to their demands. and the pioneering texas liberal frances "sissy" farenthold died sunday at the age of 94. in 1971, as the only woman elected to the texas house, she led a revolt against corruption, then overcame long odds to be a serious candidate for texas governor. in 1972, she lost a bid to be the democratic party's nominee for vice president. >> do u think at this time a woman could be nominated as a vice presidential candidate? >> to me, that pursuit of public office is a coroary to citizenship. amy: sissy farenthold later led the national women's political caucus to recruit women to run for elected office. she dedicated the rest of her life to nuclear disarmament, human rights in central america and abolishing the death penalty. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
today we spend the hour with mansoor adayfi. at the age of 18, he left his home in yemen to do research in afghanistan. shortly before he was scheduled to return home, he was kidnapped by afghan warlords and then sold to the cia after the september 11 attacks. he was jailed and tortured in afghanistan, then transported to the u.s. military prison at guantanamo in 2002. where he was held without charge for 14 years. many of those years in solitary confinement. mansoor became known as detainee #441. in 2016, he was released against his will to serbia which he compares to guantanamo 2.0. by the time mansoor was released, he had spent half his life in prison. he has just published a memoir titled "don't forget us here:
lost and found at guantanamo." i spoke to him friday from his home in belgrade. i began by asking him to take us -- i began by asking him how he ended up at guantánamo. >> let's fly back like 38 years. i was born in a tiny village in yemen. 11, 12 brothers and sisters. i studied primary school and secondary school in theillage. we had no high school, so had to go live with my aunts. when i finished my high school,
i was assigned to do research in afghanistan. a research assistant in afghanistan. th is how my journey started their. in afghanistan, i spent a couple of months doing some of the research reqred to be done. one day after 9/11, i was kidnapped by warlords. when americans came, american airplanes, they were throwing flyers with a large bounty of money. afghanistan found the more you give them higher people, the more you get paid. the price range from $5,000 to $200,000. first of all, we were taken and held for ransom, that i was sold to the cia as a middle-aged
egyptian, insider. i was taken to the black site was tortured for over two months. then from the black site, one of the funny things, when i arrived at detention, i was totally naked. it was a long journey. the second day of my arrival, guards came after the interrogation i was asked to sign a paper that the americans have a right to shoot me and kill me if i try to escape. i said, nope. of course i would try to escape. i refused to sign. they put my hand on the paper and sign it themselves. i said, that doesn't count. amy: when you talked about a bounty being paid to the warlords who hated you over to the u.s. cia and then you were tortured at a black site, do you
know where that was? when you say tortured, what actually happened to you and that two month period -- i hate to bring you back there, but what actually happened? >> you know, until that day, i don't know where the black site is, but i was kept before that at one of the warlord's homes. i was treated like a guest, teaching his kids classes, and after that an american came and was stripped naked. they shipped me to somewhere i don't know. at the black site, it was one of the worsexperiences in my life. to relive that trauma, there was no limit. 24 hours. amy: and these were u.s. soldiers? >> yes, and also afghani's.
people actually lost their lives. they were looking for where osama bin laden was. they had a long list. all kinds of things. those black sites, no one knows how many people actually died there. there was no limitation to whatever they could do to you. hang from the ceiling all the time, upside down. even blindfolded, naked. the food and dri, just for water and rice in our mouth. we would do our thing sort of standing and 24 hours of programming. they give you 30 minutes and
then six hours and 20 minutes if u can sleep, allow you -- beating, waterboarding. they put us in kind of like barrel and the first time i did, i thought i died. but i was still alive. yes, i mean -- amy: you are taken from there to kind heart and then you were brought where before went on well? -- kandahar andhen you are brought where before guantánamo? >> there were high walls of orbed wire. they could see the airplanes taken over every time.
when we use to see the small airplanes, we knew they were bringing a good -- a new group of folks. the big one, if that one came, we all can act because we knew some people were going to leave and they would disappear. trauma, just waiting for your number or name to be called. they drugged me to that place, stripped naked, shaved. too much to talk about it. we were packed. shoes, socks, uniform shirt, t-shirt, pants -- everything was
orange. they also had goggles, air masks. my eyes, to come and --too. they beat me. every 10, 15 minutes i get beaten for over 14 hours until we arrive at guantanamo. amy: what did they say you did? what were the charges against you? >> you know, the black site, i was accused of being an egyptian. money laundering, head of the cap trainer. all because of accusations. i tried to deny them. the problem was with the beatings. -- details. i could not give them the details.
when they found out i was not that person, they threw me in kandahar detention. the interrogation started again. the same person in guantanamo over and over again. amy: i want to be clear, you work 18 years old. >> yeah. i was 18 years old when i was kidnapped. i turned 19 in the black site. amy: former guantánamo prisoner mansoor adayfi. we will be back with him in 30 seconds. ♪♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we continue our conversation with mansoor adayfi, who was imprisoned by the united states at guantanamo for 14 years. he is author of the new memoir "don't forget us here: lost and found at guantanamo." >> let me talk a little, antanamo works outside of the law. the purpose of guantanamo wasn't about making americans safe, safety or security, it was not for that purpose. we were called detainees. as you know, international law does not apply, the geneva convention does not apply, american law does not apply -- nothing about that place. it is just a dark place, a black site.
so when general miller arrived, he was the first one who brought the standard operation procedure and he was the first one started developing what they called enhanced interrogation technique, enhanced torture technique. we were kept in solitary confinement. food, clothes, medicine, air, everything was an experiment. also, psychologists provide the experiment. around 800 detainees from 15 nationalities, 20 languages spoken, and the youngest detainee was a baby brought in with his father and kept in the hospital.
that man -- what hurt me most was seen that man. i could not take it. i had to fight every day with the guards. yes, general miller -- there is research called -- how guantanamo was tned into an experiment lab. amy: james yee was a chaplain who would come out and talk about what happened at guantanamo. >> it shocked and surprised us all. the first time i talked to him, i s taken to the interrogation room and we will call it the satanic room where they had
stars, signs and crazy guy come and recite something. also through the holy corona on the ground. -- holy koran on the ground. he was protesting at one time. developing enhanced interrogation techniques, torture techniques. so that james as a chaplain is going to be a problem. he was accused, arrested, detained, and interrogated. this is an american captain, graduate of west point, came to serve at guantanamo to serve his own country, because of a muslim ckground, was accused of
terrorism and was detained and imprisoned. this american guy. imagine what happened to us. when they took jim, we protested. the lawyers told us -- after one year. to the white house, the security council, united nations, to everyone, basically. amy: when you talked about general miller, just for people who might not remember, he oversaw the enhanced interrogation techniques that was even miss him for torture at guantánamo, then brought from there to iraq to gitmo-ize abu ghraib, bring the same types torture techniques. when the report came out, cited miller for the mass level of
abuse at abu ghraib. in that period, mansoor adayfi, you write so powerfully about what sustained you, about the relationships you had -- not only with other prisoners, as you say detainees, but with guards as well. can you talk about that? >> you know, amy, let me go -- i would like to make a point here. first of all, we as prisoners, we were not just the victims at guantánamo. also the guards were victims of guantanamo. that condition brought us together and through that we are human and we shared humanity first post up amy, what makes a human to human?
what makes you unique is your name your language, your morals, your ethics, your memories, your relationships, your knowledge, your experience most of basically, your family. at guantánamo we arrive, the system is designed to ny us who we are. even our names were taken. we were numbers. you're not allowed to talk, not allod to have relationships. to the extent we thought, if they were able to control our thought, they would have done it. when we arrived at guantánamo, one of the things, we had no shared life but for guantánamo. everything was new. scary unknown. we started developing relationships with each other at guantánamo as prisoners and
brothers, and the guards, too. the guards became part of our lives, part of our memories. we became part of their lives. before the guards arrived at guantánamo, they were told -- some of them were taken to ground zero and were told the one who has done this is in guantanamo. imagine when they get to guantanamo, they come with hate and revenge. but when they live with us and watch as each, drink, sleep, get beading, get sick, screaming, yelling, interrogated torture- you know, also, they are human. the administration cannot lie to them forever. the guards found out -- somewhere apologizing to us. we formed strong friendships. some converted to islam.
they treated those cards as products, not humans. even those guards, some of them went two tours in iraq and afghanistan and came back and hated change. when they used to bring younger guards, i looked at them as younger brothers and sisters most please, get out of the military. amy: this is such an important point you're making. you were there when you were 19 and you were still there in your 30's. the young people who were there, who were the guards were the age you were when you first got there. >> yeah. when i grew up at that place, many of the guards were mentally devastated. when you see a broken soul, it
is painful. even the pain, your soul, it is the most severe pain. i have experienced many pain. torture. but the worst i experienced, they touch myself. amy: i want to ask you about the hunger strikes. you participated in these for years and you are force-fed. >> and me, we work trying to survive -- we were trying to survive. we only had each other. we tried to stop the torture. we tried to find out why we were held there. when theirst time, they were harsh, stopping us from praying together. they came one day when the brothers work crying and they beat him and through the holy
book on the floor. where should we do? the first time i heard about the hunger strike, it was nin day it was trying to survive. we were hurting ourselves. always tell the people, our bodies where the battlefield because americans tortured us, abused us. also we were torturing our bodies with the hunger strike. i wrote about the hunger strike. it was a slow journey toward debt. that is hunger strike. the country experienced how to break the hunger strike. we spent almost an year we had to go through many hunger strikes over and over and over again. we were force-fed in 2005, 2007,
2010, 2015. some spent five, 15 years amy: what was that for speeding? can you describe it? we are just learning about what was happening at guantanamo at the time. the tubes that were used, how big they were. that this was used as a form of torture as well. what it and when they were forced to stop force-feeding you. >> as i told you, they were experimenting on us. they used to -- i was one of the very first detainees who was on the brink of death in 2005 before they approved the forcfeeding. i remember when t commander came, they said, -- they brought tubes through our nose most
bleeding. amy: through your nose. >> through our noses to our stomach. at that time we were in bed. then the situation got worse. they called it a force-feeding chair. they would tie our heads, shoulders, wrists, wastes, legs and force-feed us in a chair. they brought really large tube and put it through our nose with force-feeding, shouting "eat!" in 2005, they forced all of us to stop the hunger strike. these two force-feed us twice a day, but when they wanted to break the hunger strike, they would do it five times a day. these to bring piles just port
in our stomach -- piles of enure and pour it in our stomach. amy: ensure through your nose. >> used to pour one can -- if you threw up, he would get more. the also used to put laxatives and we would [beep] and the feeding chair. the general said i was sent by the wife to break your hunger strike. the first time he missed me. he was so mean. you could see in his eyes and words, he said "i'm here today to insert because tomorrow --"
i try to explain while we were on a hunger strike. he said, i don't give a [beep] about that. i lasted for two days. i could not take it. it was too much. in 2007, i went on hunger strike. i spent from007-2010 on force-feeding. amy, our hunger strike was the conversation as jihad. we told them, this is our demand. stop the torture, stopped the interrogation. what they did -- these two used to titus us from the icrc came.
even the icrc -- we asked them to leave many, many years. we cite any letters. amy: we are talking tmansoor adayfi. he was detainee #441. he was imprisoned in guantánamo without charge for 14 years and has written a memoir about his life, "don't forget us here: lost and found at guantanamo." i then want to ask you about what happened in 2016, why after 14 years, without charge, 19 years old, now in your 30's, you are released and how you ended
up, a yemeni man, in serbia. >> i refuse to come to serbia. i was forced. thecrc when i protest, went on hunger strike, the icrc issued a new rule that if any detainee accepted by any count, he will be forced to leave regardless. basically, i had no choice. they give the serbian government money to take me. amy: so you end up in serbia. you end up in belgrade. i was just listening to an interview that frontline did with you. and when pbs partnered with npr to do this documentary series, you did an interview with them.
and ultimately, you were beaten for that interview. can you explain what happened to you? this, not long after you got to serbia. >> you know, and they came to beat me, i was on hunger strike for 25 days. i spent 40 days on hunger strike protesting my condition. when it arrived at the host country they said, no, we have an agreement, will live in our country. you have no education, no courses. they make as promises. i was to finish my college education. i said, i cannot stay here. i want to leave. i went on hunger strike. even at one of the universitie, when they found out iame from guantánamo, i was expelled.
i went on hunger strike. when frontline came here, at first i went to the government. when they came to see me, i was on hunger strike. they were surprised. the second day some people came to my apartment. they said, you are a liar. you know, i didn't want to cause any problem. serbia, their history with bosnia in the 1990's scared me. then i disappeared. en i contact my lawyer, contacted frontline again. again, after it was aired, a serbia newspaper present to me in the worst way. i was arrested, interrogated.
i wrote a lot about it. i don't want to talk much detail because i don't want to get [bee p] again. but after guantánamo, i will never be silent again. i will never keep silent. i have done nothing wrong. you cannot just arrest people because you have the power. basically, yes. in 2018, they told me, now that the two is finished, you have a choice. a guy told me american [beep] you. that interview cost to a lot. my lawyer was there, what?
supplement yes. we still live in guantanamo 2.0. i studied in college. i will graduate in december. my thesis is about rehabilitation and reintegration after guantanamo. i've been doing a lot of research for the last five years. around 150 brothers at least from guantanamo. amy: you can't believe serbia, mansoor? >> remember when i told you the worst pain touches your soul? i wanted to get married. i found a woman that i thought she was going to be my wife. the only thing, piece of paper can't get married. i could travel, so i could not marry.
not just me. i think i am lucky. one of the brothers died last year. he had heart disease. where he was sent they did not have a good health system. he needed to go where he could be treated. he needed surgery. his doctor told him six months. he needed $30,000 and the said his surgery would be covered. he traveled just to have the surgery. he lost his life. it is one of the saddest moments. en i was talking to him, talking about icrc, nobody cares. simply, nobody cares. amy: former guantánamo prisoner mansoor adayfi jailed at guantanamo for 14 years, never
charged. we will be back with him in 30 seconds. ♪♪ [music break] amy: this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman. we continue our conversation with mansoor adayfi, jailed by the united states at guantanamo for 14 years, author of his new memoir "don't forget us here: lost and found at guantanamo." i asked him about the biden administration considering holding haitian migrants at guantánamo. >> one of the biggest crisis in
the 21st century, the ms immigration. but creating guantanamo has taught us "how people will be treated. i tweeted about it. i don't want anyone -- i have made peace with guantánamo, but the idea of it. amy: when you say you have made peace with that, you held up your scarf that is orange wrapped around your neck right now as you speak to us. you are forced to wear orange from head to toe. why where it now? >> i wear orange all the time. [laughter] because at guantánamo, the psychologist and icrc tony, well, you would be shocked.
i said, no, it is part of my life and i will never let guantánamo change me. try to help anyone detained -- i don't want anyone to suffer the same fate. although i have made peace with guantanamo, i write, talk, give inteiews. my other brothers, they don't want to remember. it is like a trauma. for me, i took it ather way. a gives me strength. i would not use that strength to support those helpless -- i would use that strength to help those helpless.
i use the orange color. bring awareness to the people plus misuse of power -- people's misuse of power. amy: finally, if you can talk about how you survived through guantánamo, what hope meant for you, and was it hope that kept you going to the forced feedings, hunger strikes, the beatings, through the torture? what gotou through? >> first of all, amy, faith is muslims. we stick to our faith as muslims . before guantánamo, i was in the islamic institute for research. even the us government --
first it is our faith. knowing everything -- secondly, we had each other. we had no books. totally disconnected from the world outside. we had each other. i wrote about it. i took on the bed things and wrote about how we survived at guantánamo. 15 ethnicities, 20 linkages. doctors, drug addicts, scholars, poets. the diversity of culture interacted with each other and formed what we call guantanamo culture. i'm going to sing two songs.
imagine luis to celebrate once a week -- we use to celebrate once a week i tried to have something to take our minds off being tortured. we had one night a week. we started singing arabic, farsi, french -- different line which is. people danced. -- different languages. people dance. you heard this beautiful songs. it was captivating. they took it as a challenge. we are just trying to survive. this was a way of surviving. but we had to reach up. the things we brought with us was our faith, our knowledge,
memories, emotions, relationships, we are. we had only each other. also the guards were part of survival because they play a role, singing with the sometimes. we also had art classes. we paint. those were things to survive. it was a matter of life or death. you have to keep hoping. that place was designed to take it away. the only hope -- we had to sport each other, tried stay alive. had very good brothers in that place. one of the saddest moments at guantanamo.
to be honest with you, because someone asked me last month and interview -- how did you spin your 20's and 30's? i said, i don't know. i am now in my 30's. i have a huge gap, 15 years at guantánamo. you, technically, practically -- technically i feel like i'm in my 50's and practically i feel like 'm in my 20's. so there's a huge gap. when i was released, different communities anyone to interact, they would stay away from us
because of the stigma of guantanamo. i am trying now to make a life. get married. i can sing a song for you. amy: yes, you said you would sing two. >> the first one, when general miller arrived, the first to hear arrived he searched all of us, cavity search. pepper spray. it was like a message, i am here. [beep] at guantánamo, it doesn't matter. the only thing we have is respect [beep] not all of us, but a group of us. i am sorry for these words. but we are talking about guantanamo. because guantánamo extracts the worst from us. when someone was going to interrogation or for torture, we tried to support him and we wod sing for him --
[singing in arabic] i meant to :00 amy: what did that mean? >> go with peace, i grant you more peace and safety. when they were government of whiteman or torture -- when they would come from an appointment or torture, we would say that song. 300 50 detainees singing for you -- [singing in arabic] it means, welcome, welcome most
of when the brothers first arrived, we sing for them. they were surprised. are they detainees or living -- i said, i heard the voice and i thought everyone is happy, singing. we can give them the first impression everything is ok. amy: mansoor, you talked about the art classes that you took. can you describe what art meant for you and what did you create? what did you draw? >> you know, amy, in 2009 and 2010 -- nine art class?
we asked the brothers, can you paint? it was a process. art class was one of the most important classes at guantanamo because it let us express ourselves. it was a way of escaping being in jail. art can access -- pen access to the world outside. things we missed most of the sky, the stars homes, deserts, and so on. art connects us to ourselves, to each other, to the guards. mutual admiration for us and
some of the guards asked for brothers to paying for them -- to paid for them. -- two paint for them. one of the brothers -- he said, so myself in that painting on the boat, on the ship come on the sea, sometimes running here and there. he said, it just takes my mind. it was like therapy. amy: mansoor, i want to ask about your choice to have a woman voice your book. usually, it is the author when a book is done through audio that someone can listen to it, either the author or an actor. but you chose to have a woman read "don't forget us here."
why? >> i was talking to sam most of us said, guys, i need a woman to read my book. no, i? i said, i want a woman to read my book. i said, it doesn't make any sense. instead, what makes sense about entente about? two men kicked me and imprison me. they have done a lot. i want a woman to read. i said, it is kind of crazy. per se send me man. i said, no, i want a woman to read my book. amy: former guantánamo prisoner mansoor adayfi speaking from belgrade, serbia.