The Afterlives of Torture

by Lisa Hajjar
published in MER283

Donald J. Trump ran for president on a platform that included a pledge to bring back the torture technique of waterboarding and “a hell of a lot more.” On the campaign trail, Trump told his supporters: “We have to fight so viciously and violently because we’re dealing with violent people…We have to fight fire with fire…or we are not going to have much of a country left.” [1] Clearly, he was operating on the premise that these techniques work, that the kinds of people subjected to waterboarding and other forms of custodial violence in the “war on terror”—namely, Muslims—deserve it, and that the cancellation of the George W.

Slahi, Guantanamo Diary

by Lisa Hajjar
published in MER275

Mohamedou Ould Slahi, Guantánamo Diary (New York: Little, Brown, 2015).

Please Subscribe to access the full contents of this article.

"A Beast That Took a Break and Came Back"

Prison Torture in Egypt

by Lina Attalah
published in MER275

Aida Seif al-Dawla is a psychiatrist whose fight for citizens’ rights and dignity in Egypt has taken many forms since her days as a student activist in the 1970s. In 1993, she founded the Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture, of which she remains executive director. Lina Attalah, editor-in-chief of the independent newspaper Mada Masr, spoke with Seif al-Dawla in early April 2015 about the prevalence of torture in Egypt and the latest state attempts to restrict the activities of non-governmental organizations.

Matariyya, Egypt's New Theater of Dissent

by Amira Howeidy | published June 4, 2015

On June 6, two police officers will stand trial for torturing Karim Hamdi, a 27 year-old lawyer, to death on a cold February evening inside the Matariyya police station in eastern metropolitan Cairo. The identities of the officers are protected by a gag order, but the widely publicized images of their victim’s bruised and battered corpse have put the police station and its restive environs in the national spotlight.

The Torture of Huseyin Yildirim

published in MER121

Hüseyin Yildirim is a lawyer and a Kurd from eastern Turkey. In the fall of 1981, he was serving as defense counsel to members of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), many of whom had been arrested and subjected to torture by Turkey’s military junta. Yildirim himself was seized in October 1981, and was imprisoned in the Diyarbakir Military Prison from November 1981 until July 1982. He gave the following testimony to Amnesty International on November 3 and 4, 1982, in Sweden, where he now lives. According to Amnesty, a medical examination conducted on November 2, 1982, confirmed that Yildirim “shows signs of external violent injury...[which] may well have occurred as a result of the torture described by [him].”

Please Subscribe to access the full contents of this article.

The Long Shadow of the CIA at Guantanamo

by Lisa Hajjar
published in MER273

‘Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a designated “high-value detainee” in US government parlance, is on trial in the Guantánamo Bay military commissions. The 49-year old Saudi Arabian is accused of directing the October 2000 al-Qaeda suicide boat bombing of the USS Cole off the coast of Aden, Yemen, which killed 17 sailors and injured 40 more, and a failed plan to bomb the USS Sullivans. Five other high-value detainees, including alleged “mastermind” Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, are being tried together for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. All six could face the death penalty if convicted.

Judging the Judge

by Jamie Stern-Weiner | published July 16, 2014 - 10:17am

On July 2, 16-year old Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khdeir was abducted, beaten and burned alive, apparently by a group of Jewish Israelis. News of this “torture and murder by fire,” prominent American commentator Jeffrey Goldberg confesses, “initially prompted in me a desire to say, ‘But.’” Alas, his considered response was scarcely more enlightened.

Justice for Rasmea Odeh

by Nadine Naber | published June 19, 2014 - 4:31pm

This past winter, I was privileged to participate in several events in Chicago organized by Rasmea Yousef Odeh, associate director of the Arab American Action Network and leader of that group’s Arab Women’s Committee. The events brought together anywhere from 60-100 disenfranchised women, all recent immigrants, from nearly every Arabic-speaking country. The attendees were there to learn English, share meals and stories, and discuss personal struggles, in everything from marriage and parenting to navigating the US educational and medical industries and the US immigration system. The women also talked about fending off racism.

"Journalists Are the Eyes of the World" on Guantanamo

by Sheila Carapico | published March 5, 2014 - 9:58am

Lisa Hajjar’s spring lecture tour, entitled “Let’s Go to Guantánamo! An On-the-Ground Perspective on the Military Commissions,” explores secret renditions, black sites, torture, suppression of evidence, clandestineness and what it means to provide “legal counsel” to detainees in the post-September 11 “war on terror” in the absence of procedural fairness or public scrutiny.


published in MER143

Torture in Bahrain