Mahvish Rukhsana Khan

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Mahvish Rukhsana Khan is an Pashtun-American lawyer and writer.[1][2][3]

While still in law school at the University of Miami, Khan, who speaks Pashto, and whose parents are Pashtun, worked as an interpreter for defense attorneys representing detainees held at Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[4] After visiting the military base, she wrote of her experiences in the Washington Post in 2006.[1]

That Post article was later expanded into a book, My Guantanamo Diary: The Detainees and the Stories They Told me.,[2] published in 2008 by PublicAffairs.

Khan is now providing supervised legal counsel for one Afghan detainee at Guantanamo.[5]

On February 25, 2010, the Daily Times published an excerpt from her book, where she describes meeting Ali Shah Mousovi – the first captive she met.[6] She reported being told of serious abuse by Mousavi, including week of confinement in a coffin-sized box, beatings, stress positions, and being soaked with freezing cold water.


  1. ^ a b Mahvish Khan (April 30, 2006). "My Guantanamo Diary: Face to Face With the War on Terrorism". Washington Post. pp. B01. Retrieved January 19, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Nathaniel French (June 22, 2008). "Review: Translator gives an inside view in 'My Guantanamo Diary'". St Petersburg Times. Retrieved June 22, 2008.  mirror
  3. ^ C. Cem Oguz (August 1, 2010). "WikiLeaks: Ethics to what extent?". Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review. Retrieved August 2, 2010. Much to her surprise, Khan soon discovered many of the detainees she encountered were merely average citizens handed over to U.S. authorities, often by bounty hunters.  mirror
  4. ^ "UM Law alumna Mahvish Rukhsana Khan authors book about Guantanamo Bay". University of Miami School of Law. Retrieved May 7, 2010. 
  5. ^ Interpreter Details Detention In 'My Guantanamo', National Public Radio, July 21, 2008
  6. ^ Mahvish Khan (February 25, 2010). "Detainee dilemma". Daily Times (Pakistan). Archived from the original on February 26, 2010. He described how he was beaten regularly by Americans in civilian clothing. More painful than the bruises and wounds that covered his body were the unbroken days and nights without sleep. Tape recordings of screeching sirens blared through the speakers that soldiers placed by his ears. His head throbbed. Whenever he managed, mercifully, to doze off, he would be startled awake by wooden clubs striking loud blows against the wall. He recalled the sting as he was repeatedly doused with ice water. He said he was not allowed to sit down for two weeks straight. At some point his legs felt like wet noodles; when they gave out, he was beaten and forced to stand back up. He could not remember how many times this happened. 

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