Al Dossari: Letter, May 18, 2007 (English Translation)
April 18, 2007
I do not know how to start my letter. Misfortunes have become unbearable. Disasters have increased. Catastrophes have set heavy hands on me. Doors have closed in my face. All roads are blocked in my path. Hopes have vanished. Earth, with all its spaciousness, seems much smaller to us. Our souls have been constrained by the small spaces in which we live. Moaning and sad tears have become the daily norm. Grief has increased. Worries and despair have intensified. Wakeful eyes get no sleep, and life has become dead dark.
I used to say that life and death were equivalent here in Cuba. But now death has become the ultimate hope to end my misery, my suffering, and my sad life. Now we are in the psychotherapy unit, where we face different kinds of routine torture at the hands of officers and physicians. Even the physician of the clinic, whom everyone calls Flinstone, excels in criminality. Torture is being carried out at the hands of psychiatrists by agreement of the D.O.C.
I cannot describe how bad our conditions are. We live in fear mixed with sadness, grief, and sorrow. I told you before about Abdul Rahman Al Jazaeri (# 070). The IRF team stormed his cell and took him to the hospital. I have also told you about the team storming Abu Bakr Al Yamani's (#171) cell. I'm psychologically tired to a degree I have never been before, especially because the IRF soldiers storm cells and make loud sounds to terrify us. Add to that the screams of Abu Bakr and Abdul Rahman when assaulted and beaten. These screams remind me of the torture I faced before, which led me to severe anxiety attacks, loss of control over myself, screaming until I fainted and fell to the ground. Sometimes I suffered from seizures. When I told the physicians, nurses and soldiers that this was due to the attacks of the IRF teams inside our block, the attacks increased, and our block became the worst of all the blocks.
I talked to a nurse and told him that this place is supposed to be a psychotherapy clinic, and that it should have at least some means to help the patients heal from their ailments. In fact, we are being tortured, and our condition is much worse than those in solitary cells. We are deprived of everything, as if we were being punished for being ill and assigned to that block. Those who are being openly punished in other areas have more personal items than we do.
I have been sleeping on the cement floor for more than a month now, and have nothing to cover my body other than my pants and an orange shirt. Here I am deprived of the most basic human rights. We are treated as if we were animals. No. I think I have overstated that. Animals enjoy life and are better than we are a hundred times over. What kind of creatures are we?
I cannot describe the degree of our tragedy or the graveness of our misfortune. We are facing here the most horrible type of oppression, physical torture, and terrorizing treatment. I told them—and I am telling you—if a decent psychiatrist who respects the ethics of the profession, comes from the US, the country of freedom, justice, and human rights, and sees this terrible place called the psychotherapy unit, and observes how psychotic patients are being treated in Cuba, he will feel the dishonor and the disgrace that those who are responsible for this torturous quarantined area are bringing to the profession. The psychiatrists (this is how they call themselves) and the psychological nurses are Americans, and belong to a country that is described as the greatest protector of peace, a beacon of democracy, equality, freedom, and justice.
What we have here now is what I call a cemetery for the living, and is a mark of disgrace and shame in the history of the United States.
We are subject here in the psychotherapy unit to horrible and awful torture that I cannot describe. These days are more terrible than the days of Camp X-ray, because we are being tortured physically and psychologically on a regular basis and we do not find anyone who can hear our complaints. But, how can we complain if the people in charge are the very ones who practice torture? I asked to meet with the interrogators for more than 10 days—and I am still seeking that—but I have received no response. They just don’t care about someone who has no more information to give and wants only to complain about a great oppression.
Here we die a hundred times a day. And I swear to God: if I were to have the opportunity, I would end my life—the life of misery, torture and terror I live at the hands of those people. But, as I told you, I lost the thing I was hiding to end my worthless life with. I lost this thing by accident. Had I not lost it, I would be with those three people who saved themselves from Cuba's endless torture through death.
I want to put an end to this psychological and physical torture by any means. I am looking for a way to end my life; for an opportunity that has not come yet. I am a human being—but a dead one, without rights, dignity, humanity or identity. It is easy for you to say be patient. You eat the best food, wear the best clothes, sleep on the best beds, do whatever you want, say whatever you wish, go wherever you chose, watch whatever you like and own whatever you prefer. You are simply a human being. But for me, I own nothing—no food, no clothes, no time to sleep. Nothing at all. At any moment, they take my clothes off and leave me naked. I am no longer a human being. Not even an animal, because those creatures have rights. I am refuse. I know that the slavery era is gone and done with. But I'm even less than a slave. Slaves had clothes, food, and basic rights. I have nothing.
Why should I stay alive? It’s useless. There is only torture and increasing misery. There is no hope at all. Hope was vanquished by severe torture. I do not know why I'm still breathing. My greatest wish for my sick heart is a heart attack. After that, they can do whatever they want with my body.
Juma Al Dosari
Get Arabic original here.