Writing Letters to Guantanamo

Sami al Hajj received than 20,000 letters from members and supporters of Amnesty International during his last two years at Guantánamo Bay (Photo Credit: Sami al Hajj).

Sami al Hajj received than 20,000 letters from members and supporters of Amnesty International during his last two years at Guantánamo (Photo Credit: Sami al Hajj).

Have you ever doubted the power of a letter?

If so, read this note Amnesty received from Sami al Hajj, who was held at Guantanamo without charge for years and finally transferred home to Sudan in 2008:

“I received more than 20,000 letters from members and supporters of Amnesty International during my last two years at Guantánamo Bay…These letters really encouraged me during my very difficult time. They made me feel as though I was not alone and not to give up…Also, I felt and could notice that from all these letters, the Administration of Guantánamo Bay changed and improved towards me, as they knew I was not alone and I had people who cared about me. The guards said to me that they could see I was someone who mattered and must be important because of all the letters – this made them respect me more.”

Read Sami’s full letter to Amnesty supporters here.

Turn to Guantanamo today – we’re entering month five of the hunger strike and over 11 years of indefinite detention. It is well past time for each detainee to either be charged and fairly tried in federal court, or released.

Messages of hope are more important than ever. That’s why Amnesty is asking you to write a letter and help make a difference  in defending the human rights of all people, including the Guantanamo detainees.

Can you spare a moment to write a brief card or letter?

Younous Chekkouri, for example, who is on hunger strike, would love to receive a card with a picture of flowers, especially roses, as he enjoys drawing them.

It’s quick, easy, effective and means so much. Please let us know how many letters or cards you sent so that we can keep a tally and follow up on your positive contributions.

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4 thoughts on “Writing Letters to Guantanamo

  1. Every day I am grateful that Amnesty International continues to work for human rights and facilitates participation by people all over the world.

  2. Never underestimate the power of the written word. I'm glad those letters made a difference. I just wish the difference were greater.

  3. It doesn't take much to write a few lines. We should all do this. It would do a lot of good and I think it would even make us feel good.