Guantánamo Diary

The Fully Restored Text

Mohamedou Ould SlahiEdited by Larry Siems

‘You know that I know that you know that I have done nothing,’ I said. ‘You’re holding me because your country is strong enough to be unjust.’
Guantánamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, Larry Siems (Paperback ISBN 9781786891853) book cover

Available as Paperback, eBook

The international bestseller that set the world on fire, told in full for the first time: Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s unflinching account of his fourteen years of detention without charge in Guantánamo Bay

Now a major motion picture called The Mauritanian
‘A vision of hell, beyond Orwell, beyond Kafka’ JOHN LE CARRÉ

The first and only diary written by a Guantánamo detainee during his imprisonment, now with previous censored material restored.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi was imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay in 2002.

There he suffered the worst of what the prison had to offer, including months of sensory deprivation, torture and sexual assault.

In October 2016 he was released without charge.

This is his extraordinary story.

“An extraordinary account … the global war on terror has found in a Mauritanian captive its true and complete witness”

See more reviews

“A vision of hell, beyond Orwell, beyond Kafka”
John Le CarrÉ

“Unnerving yet ultimately magnificent … there is something special about Guantánamo Diary that lifts it from human rights polemic to the realm of literary magic”
sunday Times

“The work is a kind of dark masterpiece, a sometimes unbearable epic of pain, anguish and bitter humour”
new York Times

“Heartbreaking … there has never been a book quite like this … extraordinary and overwhelming”
new Statesman

Mohamedou Ould SlahiEdited by Larry Siems

Mohamedou Ould Slahi was born in a small town in Mauritania in 1970. He won a scholarship to attend college in Germany and worked there for several years as an engineer. He returned to Mauritania in 2000. The following year, at the behest of the United States, he was detained by Mauritanian authorities and rendered to a prison in Jordan; later he was rendered again, first to Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, and finally, on August 5, 2002, to the U.S. prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where he was subjected to severe torture. In 2010, a federal judge ordered him immediately released, but the government appealed that decision. He was cleared and released on October 16, 2016, and repatriated to his native country of Mauritania. No charges were filed against him during or after this ordeal.

Larry Siems is a writer and human rights activist and for many years directed the Freedom to Write Program at PEN American Center. He is the author, most recently, of The Torture Report: What the Documents Say about America’s Post-9/11 Torture Program. He lives in New York.

The Mauritanian is a new film starring Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim and Benedict Cumberbatch, directed by Kevin Macdonald. It’s based on Guantánamo Diary, Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s unflinching account of his fourteen years of detention without charge in Guantánamo Bay.

Watch the Guardian’s exclusive animated documentary about Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s memoir, Guantánamo Diary.