Mansoor Adayfi, 40, was born in a rural village in Yemen. At the age of nineteen, Mansoor was captured and detained at Guantanamo Bay for 14 years without ever being charged. During his time in Guantanamo, Mansoor was brutally beaten, tortured, and denied many of his human rights. After his release in 2016, Mansoor has relentlessly campaigned towards the closure of Guantanamo Bay and has also published a memoir called ‘Don’t Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantanamo’.

Despite his mistreatment whilst at Guantanamo, Mansoor still manages to be incredibly positive and progressive about his attitude towards the prison. “I have made peace with Guantanamo” Mansoor says after being asked how he felt about it to this day, adding that “Of course there was trauma, but there was also brotherhood, friendship, love and there were memories.” Mansoor also goes on to say that he is “using Guantanamo to fight the injustice; to bring the truth to the people, to the public and to educate the new generation so that Guantanamo will not happen again.” He is also incredibly active on his Instagram account and also in politics, having recently visited European parliament in Brussels to advocate for the closure of Guantanamo Bay alongside some of his other fellow ex-detainees.

Throughout the entire interview, not once does Mansoor show any indication of resentment towards Guantanamo and the guards who beat and berated him, stating that “I do not hate people. I have no grudges against anyone. I don’t,” a profoundly moving and inspirational attitude towards a brutal and horrific breach of basic human rights.

When asked about how his relationship between himself and the rest of the world has been affected by Guantanamo, Mansoor responded by saying “I wear this flag [GITMO t-shirt] every day. I tell people who I am, yeah, so what, I was there. And some people, honestly, react positively, and some people don’t care, and some people just think that you are a bad guy. I understand. Its life, people will misjudge you. It’s just one of the normal things in life.”

However, when talking about the psychological effects of his imprisonment, his words became more solemn, mentioning how “some of the prisoners tried to commit suicide” as a result of the trauma that they endured. “Some of us have nightmares, PTSD, depression, and you know, we try to cope with that.” Mansoor goes on to say when talking about the mental health issues caused by his time as a detainee, revealing how brutal the torture and beating really was, further describing his experience as “awful, there was so much darkness and bitterness.”

Finally, Mansoor concluded the interview stating that “There must be compensation and reparations and accountability from the United States government” and that “With the help of the young generation” Guantanamo Bay and many other places filled with injustices of human rights can be closed. Guantanamo Bay is yet to be closed, however hopefully one day, the world will see it’s closure once and for all.