You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Detainee’ tag.

One of the first to be released in 2002, Mohammad, a farmer, says that he was forcibly conscripted into the Taliban, but tried to get away by surrendering himself to the enemy, the notorious warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, who promptly served him up to the Americans. After less than a year, the Americans deemed him no threat and returned him to Afghanistan. He says that during his time in captivity, he was well treated by the U.S. military. © Paula Bronstein/Getty

One of the first to be released in 2002, Mohammad, a farmer, says that he was forcibly conscripted into the Taliban, but tried to get away by surrendering himself to the enemy, the notorious warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, who promptly served him up to the Americans. After less than a year, the Americans deemed him no threat and returned him to Afghanistan. He says that during his time in captivity, he was well treated by the U.S. military. © Paula Bronstein/Getty

In my recent feature of Edmund Clark’s work on Guantanamo (that focuses on not only the fabric of the prison but also the environmental details of their homes post-release) I was reminded of Paula Bronstein‘s Guantanamo detainee portraits.

Whereas Clark focuses on detainees released into Western – I presume UK – society, Bronstein tracks former detainees down in their homeland, Afghanistan. She has photographed returning prisoners many times since 2002. All her work is collated at here at Getty Images. Time magazine ran Portraits of Gitmo Detainees earlier this year.

There are many stories to consider, and they are of course more vital than the photographs. The early releases, including Jan Mohammad (above), from 2002 came with favourable testimony in which detainees said they were treated fairly and allowed to practice their religion.

 Mohammed Jawad talks on the phone to a friend as a relative looks on in his family home on September 25, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was the youngest Guantanamo Bay prisoner only 17 when he was arrested six years ago, but his lawyer says he was 14 and family members say he was 12. JawadÕs conviction was for throwing a hand grenade at two U.S. soldiers. The judge said his confession was obtained under torture. © Paula Bronstein/Getty

Mohammed Jawad talks on the phone to a friend as a relative looks on in his family home on September 25, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was the youngest Guantanamo Bay prisoner only 17 when he was arrested six years ago, but his lawyer says he was 14 and family members say he was 12. Jawad's conviction was for throwing a hand grenade at two U.S. soldiers. The judge said his confession was obtained under torture. © Paula Bronstein/Getty

Mohammed Jawal, who could have been as young as 12 when he was detained was, according to a judge, tortured.

Haji Nasrat, 77 Released in 2006, the farmer was Guantanamo's oldest prisoner. Partially paralyzed for more than 15 years and illiterate, Nasrat says he does not know why the Americans detained him. Government documents relating to his case allege that he was a member of Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, a former mujahadeen group said to be tied to Al Qaeda. © Paula Bronstein/Getty

Haji Nasrat, 77 Released in 2006, the farmer was Guantanamo's oldest prisoner. Partially paralyzed for more than 15 years and illiterate, Nasrat says he does not know why the Americans detained him. Government documents relating to his case allege that he was a member of Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, a former mujahadeen group said to be tied to Al Qaeda. © Paula Bronstein/Getty

Haji Nasrat, Guantanamo’s oldest detainee, has spoken words which bear the experience of failed American policy in Afghanistan, “When (the Americans) came to Afghanistan everybody was waiting for America to help us build our country. We were looking for you guys and we were very happy that you would come to our country. The people who hated you were very few, but you just grabbed guys like me. Look at me. Our very happiness, you changed it to (bitterness).”

After eight years of war and too many attacks that have killed civilians, President Obama’s military and non-military personnel have a large task to improve security and win back the trust of the Afghanistan people. Is it even possible? If not, the biggest losers resulting from the lie that was the war on Iraq – and all the distractions it carried – may be the people of Afghanistan.

Found via Travel Photographer

His family claim he was 12 when he was taken into US custody. The pentagon claim he was 17. Whichever the case, the treatment remained the same.

Video from the Guardian.

GuantanmoYoungDetaineeVideo

This post is to salve the disappointment of thousands of visitors to Prison Photography that are tempted by the post titled View Inside Guantanamo: Video only to find that the Guardian’s rights to the three minute “tour” video have expired.

guardian.guantanamo.expired

There exists a bristling irony in the Guardian’s curt and formal explanation of circumstance: the erasure of evidence based upon ‘rights’ pertaining to the command is an insulting reminder of the powerlessness of detainees whose lives are manipulated at will.

Paradoxically, in this case, it is the denied party that is the apologist for the US military’s enforced expiration and unavailability of material. It seems the controlled release of this footage has been trumped by its controlled withdrawal.

Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos

As a worthy (and non-governmental) alternative, Magnum offers Paolo Pellegrin’s 11 minute slideshow ‘Guantanamo. There are a few interesting things about this piece none of which are the actual photographs. The prints are steeped in morbid detachment and the unsurprising truth that the photographer was also controlled throughout this military prison.

The slideshow’s early description of Guantanamo as a small American town is sinister; the edited audio interviews of former UK detainees, family members, detainee lawyer and psychologist are very successful. The follow-up portraits of former detainees that Pellegrin later completed in Afghanistan are very strong.

Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos

Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos

All photos copyright of Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos

Please, refer to my earlier post, for a comprehensive directory of photographic resources for Guantanamo including Bruce Gilden’s subtle flash-bulb mockery of Guantanamo’s rank and file. (Search within Magnum archives as deep-linking is impossible).

EMAIL

prisonphotography [at] gmail [dot] com

@BROOKPETE ON TWITTER

Prison Photography Archives

Post Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 557 other followers