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Guantanamo Bay Diary!


For the 26th of May, SIB proudly presents a lecture by Larry Siems, editor of the book Guantanamo Diary. For the book, mr. Siems worked together with Guantanamo inmate Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who was never charged for any crime, but is a captive of the U.S. government since 2002. Slahi and his lawyer are fighting for his freedom, but so far the U.S. government does not seem to give in.

The book is made up from a diary Slahi wrote, starting during his third year in Guantanamo. It exposes the brutality of US redemption:

“Anyone who reads Guantánamo Diary — and anyone with a shred of conscience should do so, now — will be ashamed and appalled. Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s demand for simple justice should be our call to action. Because what’s at stake in this case is not just the fate of one man who, against all odds, managed to tell his story, but the future of our democracy as well.”
— Glenn Greenwald

Larry Siems was born in St. Louis, Missouri and grew up in New Hope, Minnesota, graduating from Neil Armstrong High School in 1977. He studied English and Classical Greek at the University of Notre Dame and poetry in the MFA program at Columbia University, and he was a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in 1987-1988.

Since then, he has balanced writing and activism, publishing scores of articles on human rights and cross-cultural themes and serving for many years as director of Freedom to Write Programs for the writers advocacy organization PEN, first at PEN USA in Los Angeles and then at PEN American Center in New York. His work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, The Nation, LA Weekly, and Ironwood, Epoch, and Southern Poetry Review.