Murat Kurnaz | Belfast and Beyond | 11 May 2008 | Amnesty International UK

Murat Kurnaz

I think that we can definitely call Murat Kurnaz, a Turkish/ German ex-detainee from Guantanamo Bay’s visit to Northern Ireland a success! He visited the Foyle Amnesty group and launched his book in Northern Ireland at the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in Belfast at a sold-out Black Box.  

 

It seems that Murat, perhaps because the German Government washed heir hands of him, suffered horrific amounts of torture, beatings and daily interrogations for 5 years, even though after a year he was declared innocent in all the investigations with no links to terrorism or al Qaeda. Was this perhaps an indictment on how the German state have treated guest workers from Turkey, so vital to post-war reconstruction, but never allowed citizenship rights.  

 

What was most astounding about Murat was his resilience, it is almost unbelievable that he managed to suffer so much and emerge, balanced and seemingly lacking in hatred towards Americans. He clearly made te distinction between USstate and UScitizens. However he did give prescient warning, all those detainees who have been held and tortured with no recourse to the rule of law have family and friends, who are growing up with hatred in their hearts. This just one reason why it is so important that Guantanamo is shut down.

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