THE RULE OF LAW ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
Cageprisoners Director and former Guantánamo detainee
An interview with Moazzam Begg conducted May 30, 2011, in London, England, by Ronald J. Grele and Kanishk Tharoor for the Columbia Center for Oral History, Rule of Law Oral History Project.
Moazzam Begg is the Director of Cageprisoners, a human rights and legal advocacy organization in the United Kingdom that works on behalf of prisoners in Guantánamo Bay and other detainees of the War on Terror. Born in Birmingham, England, Mr. Begg was arrested in Afghanistan in the series of mass arrests of foreigners in the region in the immediate aftermath of September 11. He was detained for approximately one year, and then transferred to Guantánamo Bay where he was detained for two years without charge. After his release in 2005, Mr. Begg co-authored the first book to be published by a former Guantánamo detainee, Enemy Combatant: A British Muslim’s Journey to Guantánamo and Back. Highlights of this interview include Mr. Begg’s early life and experience growing up Muslim in the United Kingdom, his detention at and release from Guantánamo Bay, the challenges of reentering public life after his release, the effects of detention on detainees' family life, and his work as an author and public advocate for the plight of prisoners in the War on Terror.