Letter from Abdulghappar Turkistani to his attorneys, December 12, 2007
I hope that this letter reaches you before you come over and I hope that it would be a little beneficial for our Turkistani brothers’ situation here.
We, the Turkistani brothers left our homeland in order to escape from the brutal suppression and unfair treatment from the Chinese government toward our people. The Uyghur youth back home were either being incarcerated with false accusations or being prosecuted and executed with bogus allegations. It was extremely difficult for any Uyghur to see a future for themselves within our homeland and young and middle aged Uyghurs started to leave East Turkistan and try to find survival abroad if anyone could find a way to get out. We, the Uyghurs in Guantanamo, are also like those Uyghurs, we left our homeland for the same cause and sought endurance within our neighboring countries. As you know, for some specific reasons we have ended up in Afghanistan. When we have arrived in Afghanistan, the US army raided Afghanistan. We had to leave to Pakistan since we could not stay in Afghanistan and as we also did not know anyone who could help us there, we had no other choice but to leave. The Pakistani people arrested us and turned us over to the Pakistani government. Subsequently, the Pakistani government sold us to the US army for bounties. The US Army brought us to Guantanamo. Since the very beginning of the interrogations, we have been saying this. Our circumstances are very clear to the US government, US army and related agencies. Thus, the East Turkistani people and we, the Uyghurs in Guantanamo, have never had any revulsion against the US at any time and it never would be possible at any time because, our homeland is being occupied and we need help of the others.
We were very pleased at the beginning when the Pakistanis turned us over to American custody. We sincerely hoped that America would be sympathetic to us and help us. Unfortunately, the fact was different. Although in 2004 and 2005 we were told that we were innocent, however, we are being incarcerated in jail for the past 6 years until present. We fail to know why we are still in jail here. We are still in the hope that the US government will free us soon and send us to a safe place. Being away from family, away from our homeland, and also away from the outside world and losing any contact with anyone, also being forbidden from the natural sunlight, natural air, being surrounded with a metal box all around is not suitable for a human being. I was very healthy in the past. However, since I was brought to Camp 6, I got rheumatism and my joints started to hurt all the time and are getting worse. My kidney started to hurt for the past 10 days. My countryman Abdulrazaq used to have rheumatism for a while and since he came to Camp 6, it got worse. Sometime in early August, the US army has told Abdulrazaq that he is cleared to be released and also issued the release arrival in writing to him. Hence, Abdulrazaq requested to move him to a better conditioned camp for his health reasons and when it was being ignored he started to go on hunger strike for over a month now. Currently, he is on punishment and his situation is worse and he is being shackled down to the chair and force fed twice a day by the guards, that wear glass shields on their faces, for the past 20 days. For someone who has not eaten for a long time, such treatment is not humane. Abdulrazaq would never want to go on hunger strike however the circumstances here forced him to do so as he had no other choice. If the oppression was not unbearable, who would want to throw himself on a burning fire? In the US constitution, is it a crime for someone to ask to protect his health and ask for his rights? If it does count as a crime, then what is the difference between the US constitution and communism constitution? What is the difference with Hitler’s policies during the second World War?
I have heard that an Egyptian man broke his back and became handicapped while he was being handled by such team in Camp 1 or 2 and then he was sent home as a crippled person for the rest of his life. Another Libyan broke his arm also. I worry that Abdulrazaq would face a similar or worse situation while being force fed twice a day for a long time and I am also concerned for his psychological condition as it is extremely difficult for him to keep his mental state normal with such circumstances. Recently, I started to wonder, why are we staying in this jail for so long? I wonder if we will be released after we damage our internal and external organs and arms and legs. Or is it necessary for a few Turkistanis to die as it happened in the past here in this jail in order to gain others’ attention and their concern toward our matter? Such thoughts are in my mind all the time. The reason I am writing this letter to you is that, I sincerely hope you and related law and enforcements solve this issue quickly and help us in a practical manner.
Abdulghappar Turkistani (281)
December 12, 2007.
Guantanamo Bay jail, Camp 6.