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January 11, 2008

Detained At Guantanamo Bay

Detained At Guantanamo Bay

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the opening of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. Close to 800 people have been through the facility. One-third of the detainees currently there are Yemeni, and one of them is Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif. Adnan was picked up in Afghanistan.

This week, Yemen's Foreign Minister called for the return of his country's detainees. But men of Yemeni descent who find themselves in Guantanamo face long odds of getting out. According to a Boston Globe report, only 13 out of the 100 Yemeni citizens arrested have been repatriated, including one prisoner who committed suicide. By comparison, of the 130 Saudi Arabian detainees originally held at Guantanamo, 100 have been released.

Dick Gordon talks to Adnan's lawyer, Marc Falkoff - Marc is a law professor at Northern Illinois University who represents 17 Yemeni men. He talks about the challenge of getting Adnan to trust him, and his own journey towards trusting his client. Adnan is currently on a hunger strike. He has been on the strike for a year.

A Settled Soul

Rahim Al Haj has just been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional World Music Album for his latest work, "When The Soul Is Settled: Music Of Iraq." Rahim traveled to the United States after the first Gulf War and he struggled to make his way in his new country. He recalls a job offer from McDonalds - he thought he was being asked to go to the fast food chain with his oud to play. But he has since shaped a life for himself as a musician and teacher in his new country.

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