Yasser Zahrani, a Saudi Arabian citizen was detained in Guantanamo when he was only 17 years old, he died in Guantanamo in 2006 at the age of 21. The official line was that he and two others had committed suicide; newly emerged eyewitness accounts confirm what Yasser’s father had believed from the start, he had been killed by prison officers in Guantanamo. In an interview with Moazzam Begg in 2012 he said “[w]hat made the pain and sorrow worse was the lies put out by the US authorities about the nature of his death – stating that he had committed suicide, something we later [were] able to establish was a complete falsification of the reality”. When Yasser’s body was finally returned to his family in Saudi, evidence of the torture he endured was apparent, including, as his father noted that “his larynx had been removed”.
CAGE is publishing the poem below in memory of this young boy who was murdered by the US government.
Yassir Talal Zahrani –
As silent as can be
The world doesn’t know me
I sense a plan
What is it I’ve yet to understand
An eerie silence follows
As a mighty voice bellows
They drag me out of my cell
What is it they won’t tell
They blindfold me
And shackle me
They drag me through the dark night
Which lacks light
To an unknown dwelling
The enemy’s chest swelling
With an anger
For I pose a danger
I get beaten raw
They open up a door
And shove me in
It smells like a bin
Yet I don’t understand my sin
Nor do my kin
They remove my blindfold
My body goes cold
“This is your last”
And over my throat they cast
Hands that grip
Into my face they spit
Shove something down my throat
So that no one would vote
For those who took my last breath
To throw me into my death
“Kill him” they cry
“Better if they die”
A piercing scream is heard
The one the heroes feared
All is silent…
To ‘Allah’ alone do they turn
He will never burn
In the dark do they call
To the One who knows all
Accept him as a martyr
For there is no one who is smarter
Our blessed friend
We will continue your trend
In Paradise, for you will be the gardens
And to you belong the maidens…
You can read the full interview between Moazzam Begg and Yasser’s father, Talal Zahrani, here.

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)