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Plight of Guantanamo Detainees Brought to New York Stage

StoryOctober 05, 2004
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A new play in New York titled "Guantanamo: Honour-Bound to Defend Freedom" portrays the plight of British detainees at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The script is based on the spoken and written testimony of Guantanamo detainees, family members, lawyers and public officials. We hear an excerpt of a reading of Moazzam Begg. [includes rush transcript]

A new play off-broadway in New York portrays the plight of British detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The script is based on the spoken and written testimony of Guantanamo detainees, family members, lawyers and public officials. The play was first staged in London and came to the US this summer.

The play is based on the lives of actual detainees–One of those detainees is Moazzam Begg. This is en excerpt from the play "Guantanamo–Honour-bound to Defend Freedom" played by actor Aasif Mandvi playing Moazzam Begg.

  • Excerpt of "Guantanamo–Honour-bound to Defend Freedom"–Moazzam Begg played by actor Aasif Mandavi.

TRANSCRIPT
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This weekend I went over to the Culture Project at 45 Bleecker in New York City, and it is now showing a new play that comes from London called Guantanamo. The script is based on the spoken and written testimony of Guantanamo detainees, family members, lawyers, public officials. The play, one of the people in the play is an actor that plays Moazzam Begg. This is an excerpt from Guantanamo: Honor-Bound to Defend Freedom

AASIF MANDAVI as MOAZZAM BEGG: I have received your message and I’m glad. I hope all is well with you and the family. It is nearly a complete year since I have been in custody. I believe now that there has been a gross violation of my human rights, particularly to that right of freedom and innocence until proven guilty. After all of this time, I still don’t know what crime I am supposed to have committed! For which not only I, but my wife and children should continually suffer for as a result! I am in a state of desperation and beginning to lose the fight against depression and hopelessness. Whilst I do not at all complain about my personal treatment, conditions are such that I have not seen the sun, sky, moon, etc. for nearly a year. Since it’s been the same for every day for all of the time that I have been in here, my situation here is unique in many ways for good and bad, but mostly bad. I believe it is wrong for me to have been kept like this and I have served more than enough time for whatever it is that has been perceived about me. I still see no end in sight. I hate so much to place this burden upon you, but do so as a last resort to alleviate this injustice. Please, remember me in your prayers. Your son, Moazzam.

AMY GOODMAN: Moazzam Begg, as played by Aasif Mandavi in the Off-Broadway play called Guantanamo: Honor-Bound to Defend Freedom.

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Guantanamo, President Bush and the Invasion of Iraq

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