Two weeks ago I rushed to a recording studio for a last minute job: to voice the words of a young French man named Nabil Hadjarab.
Nabil was just 22 years old when he was sold for a bounty to US forces and taken to Guantanamo Bay. He has been held there ever since without charge or trial. The US has since admitted that he was mistakenly arrested.
In 2007 Nabil was cleared for release. Then, in 2009, Barack Obama became President and promised to close Guantanamo Bay. Nabil - like all the detainees - thought that maybe, finally his time had come to be released from his indefinite detention. Instead, the President did nothing. He closed the office charged with closing the prison and since the start of the hunger strike conditions have steadily deteriorated.
In despair, Nabil - and the majority of those detainees still being held in Guantanamo without charge - reached for the tool of last resort for people with no voice and no power. Following in the footsteps of the suffragettes and the Irish before him by using literally the only method at his disposal to protest his ongoing detention, Nabil went on hunger strike.
He has now been striking for over 120 days. He is being force-fed, a gruesome and brutal procedure denounced by the medial ethics community as torture. Nabil doesn't want to die - none of the men in Guantanamo do. But despair at being held without any hope of release has rendered him willing to do so.
One of the biggest challenges Nabil faces is that he has been cut off from the world. His voice has been silenced. I passionately believe that everyone deserves someone to stand up for them, to fight their corner. The human rights charity Reprieve and I have made this film so that people can hear Nabil's own words and understand who he is. I hope that his powerful words will help people understand the travesty of Guantanamo, and will galvanise action for his release.
President Obama could end the illegal detention at Guantanamo Bay and close the prison tomorrow if he wanted to. Nabil could return to his family and home in France if only the US would ask the French government to take him.
Please watch this film, share it with your friends, and sign the petition. And as you eat your next meal, spare a thought for Nabil.
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