Bookseller reported yesterday that Canongate had acquired a 466-page memoir written by Mauritanian Guantanamo prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi, which Slahi finished in 2006, but which had apparently been held as a “classified secret” for seven years:
Although cleared for release in 2010 — before even his memoir was cleared — Slahi remains imprisoned in the camp. In all likelihood, he will still be there when his memoir is released in Janury 2015. This account, of his arrest and early years in Guantanamo, was finally sanctioned for publication after US attorneys fought for seven years to have the manuscript declassified.
This marks the first time a Guantánamo prisoner’s memoir will be released while he’s still in detention, and, according to Bookseller, it will form the basis of an international campaign to free Slahi amid “a storm of global publicity and a series of live events to raise awareness for the ongoing campaign for Slahi’s release.”
Undoubtedly, it will also be met by a firestorm of support for the prison camp.
An excerpt of the declassified version of Slahi’s memoir was published on Slate last fall. The memoir, written in the English Slahi acquired in prison, will be edited and introduced by author and human-rights advocate Larry Siems.
The title will be published simultaneously around the world on Jan. 20, 2015 with Little, Brown publishing in the US. Rights have been sold in 11 other territories.
The excerpts published on Slate:
Slahi’s 2008 Department of Defense file:
A timeline of detention: