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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Five Years

A Turkish citizen born and raised in Germany, Murat Kurnaz was only 19 when he was arrested without explanation in Pakistan in October 2001. Handed over to the US, he spent the next 1,600 days enduring the brutal life of a prisoner at Guantanamo and various forms of torture, before being released without explanation or apology in August 2006. In this extract, published in The Guardian he describes the early days in his cage in Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay.

We were gathered at a spot in front of the open hanger, led off one by one, and brought to a tent. There they cut off our beards and shaved our heads. At least they would no longer be able to drag me around by the hair, I thought.

This is essential reading.
Five Years of My Life. An Innocent Man in Guantanamo by Murat Kurnaz. Published by Palgrave Macmillan. Murat Kurnaz will be speaking at an event for Amnesty International on April 28 in London and May 8 in Belfast. Please visit for further details.

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