The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has been banned in Guantanamo Bay. The book is a factual account of the experiences of prisoners in Soviet gulag labour camps. The Rule of Law by Lord Bingham has also been banned.
This week, to mark 15 years of injustice at Guantanamo, you can test your knowledge of the books that have been banned in the world’s most notorious prison. Top prize for the winner is a coffee mug from the Guantanamo gift shop, bought by one of our lawyers on their next visit. Other prizes include beautiful copies of selected banned books from The Folio Society.
Just enter your name to begin our short quiz of 10 questions.
1. Which of these famous children’s books has not been banned in Guantanamo bay?
Arabic copies of Harry Potter (which features a hellish Island prison of its very own) are very popular amongst detainees. Ironically, Harry Potter novels often top US Library’s “Most Banned Books” list.
2. Which Martin Amis book has been banned from Guantanamo Bay?
Martin Amis signed a copy of The Second Plane for Shaker Aamer, but the book was not allowed into the prison.
3. Which of the following has been banned in Guantanamo?
1984 was eventually banned after Shaker Aamer explained it to the authorities. Guantanamo is a landlocked base surrounded by the second largest minefield in the world. “Runner’s World” was somehow judged more dangerous than “Swimming Times”.
4. Which of Wilfred Owen’s poems has been banned twice?
Despite being a noted anti-war poet, Wilfred Owen’s work has been repeatedly banned from Guantanamo.
5. Which of the following topics are considered ‘restricted’?
Along with military topics and depictions of graphic violence, travel offers are banned from Guantanamo.
6. Who of the following haven't had one of his works banned at Guantanamo Bay?
Former Guantánamo inmate Moazzam Begg once showed Jeremy Paxman the rubber stamp inside the cover of his copy. Russell Brand’s Booky Wook Two was banned for reasons unknown.
7. Which of the following books were unbanned from Guantanamo?
The Innocent Man was unbanned from Guantanamo after author John Grisham wrote an article criticising the decision in the New York Times.
8. Which of the following of Shakespeare's plays has been banned?
Perhaps the themes of injustice hit too close for home for Guantanamo authorities, who banned The Merchant of Venice.
9. Which of the following has been banned?
The anti-slavery novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe was apparently too controversial for the Guantanamo authorities. Several Barack Obama books are in the Guantanamo library but are supposedly not popular with the detainees.
10. How many of the books of Clive Stafford Smith (Reprieve’s founder) have been banned?
In a rare act of kindness by the Guantanamo authorities, all books by Clive are banned at Guantanamo.
Submit your answers to enter the prize draw.
Top prize for the winner is a coffee mug from the Guantanamo gift shop, bought by one of our lawyers on their next visit. Other prizes, including copies of selected banned books from The Folio Society, will also be given to selected participants.