Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 263–273 | Cite as

Nation, Narration, and Health in Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantánamo Diary

  • Neil Krishan AggarwalEmail author


Scholars have mostly analyzed information from mental health practitioners, attorneys, and institutions to critique mental health practices in the War on Terror. These sources offer limited insights into the suffering of detainees. Detainee accounts provide novel information based on their experiences at Guantánamo. Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantánamo Diary is the only text from a current detainee that provides a first-person account of his interrogations and interactions with health professionals. Despite being advertised as a diary, however, it has undergone redaction from American government officials. This article examines Slahi’s account of his interrogations and representations of mental health at Guantánamo and considers its role within the narrative function of the nation. At stake is the right of detainees to narrate, scholars to critique medical practices in the War on Terror, and the nation’s attempts to control its narration.


Guantánamo War on Terror Mental health Narrative Medical humanities 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical PsychiatryColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.New York State Psychiatric InstituteNew YorkUSA

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