LETTER FROM YAHDIH OULD SLAHI AND THE SLAHI FAMILY TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
(pdf version here)
September 18, 2015
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama,
My name is Yahdih Ould Salahi.
I am a German citizen, originally from Mauritania.
On behalf of my family and my deceased mother, and recalling all of our suffering for almost 14 years, I would ask you to free my brother, Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who has been imprisoned in Guantanamo since August, 2002.
We were so happy when you were elected and promised the world that you would close Guantanamo. But as I am writing these lines, that still has not happened.
My brother was ordered released by United States Judge James Robertson in March 2010. That was a like a holiday for us: our whole family was crying with joy. Five years later, our tears are from disappointment.
Since 2010, we have been waiting for the United States court to rehear Mohamedou’s habeas corpus petition. Since 2011, we have been waiting for the United States to give Mohamedou a review board hearing in Guantanamo. Neither of these has happened.
I believe you know what my brother has been through in U.S. custody—his rendition to Jordan, and then to Afghanistan, and then his “special project” interrogation in Guantanamo. And I believe that you have done well in helping to bring this kind of mistreatment to an end. But there is torture, too, in not knowing if or when an unjust imprisonment will end.
My brother poses no danger to the United States. Mohamedou makes clear in his book, Guantanamo Diary, that he does not hold a grudge against the people who tortured him or against your government. Like Mohamedou, our family bears no ill will against the United States. Our goal is the release of my brother, which is something that I believe will bring benefits for the United States as well.
My family can provide all necessary guarantees that he will live well and peacefully in Mauritania when he is released. I would be happy to have Mohamedou live with me in Germany, too.
If you want more details and information about my family, I would be happy to meet with you.
I look forward to your answer to my simple petition, and I thank you very much in advance.
With friendly greetings from Deutschland,
Yahdih Ould Salahi