Exhibit Brings Detainees' 'Pictures from Home'

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/9378346/9378347" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript
Detainee Abdulaziz al Swidi’s daughters hold paper flowers that he made for them. i

Detainee Abdulaziz al Swidi's daughters hold paper flowers that he made for them. Courtesy of Collection of Through the Walls hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Collection of Through the Walls
Detainee Abdulaziz al Swidi’s daughters hold paper flowers that he made for them.

Detainee Abdulaziz al Swidi's daughters hold paper flowers that he made for them.

Courtesy of Collection of Through the Walls
Riyad al Haj i

Riyad al Haj was arrested for being a nurse in a Taliban-run hospital. At first, Americans mistook him for the Taliban's foremost accountant. Though the United States apprehended the accountant Riyad, this Riyad is still being held. Courtesy of Collection of Through the Walls hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Collection of Through the Walls
Riyad al Haj

Riyad al Haj was arrested for being a nurse in a Taliban-run hospital. At first, Americans mistook him for the Taliban's foremost accountant. Though the United States apprehended the accountant Riyad, this Riyad is still being held.

Courtesy of Collection of Through the Walls
Family and friends of Isatullah and Haji Misrat pose in Sirobi, Afghanistan. i

Family and friends of Isatullah and Haji Misrat pose in Sirobi, Afghanistan. Haji, who is 80 years old, was sent back to Afghanistan in August 2006. His son Isatullah is still there. Courtesy of Collection of Through the Walls hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Collection of Through the Walls
Family and friends of Isatullah and Haji Misrat pose in Sirobi, Afghanistan.

Family and friends of Isatullah and Haji Misrat pose in Sirobi, Afghanistan. Haji, who is 80 years old, was sent back to Afghanistan in August 2006. His son Isatullah is still there.

Courtesy of Collection of Through the Walls

When detainees at Guantanamo Bay were first allowed to see lawyers back in 2005, many of them believed it was some kind of trick by the U.S. government.

In order to win the trust of their would-be clients, the lawyers traveled to the Middle East, found the detainees' families, explained their sons' fate and took pictures of the relatives, also posing with them.

Those pictures are now being displayed by the group FotoFest in a Houston exhibition, "Guantanamo. Pictures From Home. Questions of Justice."

Photographer Margo Herster, whose husband is one of the detainee lawyers, created the exhibition. She says she became obsessed looking at the hundreds of photographs brought back by the legal teams from Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Yemen.

"On one level, they were showing who the detainees were from the place they came from," Herster says. "But the more interesting thing was the warmth of the images and the relationship I could feel between the lawyers who'd gone on this trip and families of suspected terrorists."

There are 385 men still being held in Guantanamo. For lack of evidence, most will never have charges brought against them.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.