A former guard at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre is to come to Birmingham on a roadshow with the freed inmate Moazzam Begg.
Chris Arendt, 24, will be talking about how inmates were allegedly tortured at Camp Delta, the prison run by the United States Military in Cuba at an open meeting in Small Heath on Friday.
He was invited to the city by Begg, from Sparkhill, who was held in Guantanamo Bay in 2003 and released without charge four years ago.
“This is the first time that we have heard the story of Guantanamo Bay from both sides of the wire,” said Begg. “Just as we have heard the story of the prisoners, now we can hear the story of a guard. There can’t be peace without an understanding of the whole process. Chris’s role is pivotal in that.
“I first heard Chris talking on a video about his experiences. He was speaking courageously and I could see how he had been shaped through it.”
Arendt joined the US Military at the age of 17 and his job at Camp Delta was to guard detainees shackled standing up for days at a time in the cold with loud music playing.
When inmates became rowdy they were punished by being sprayed in the face with an extremely painful chemical and then beaten up. He has taped several of those incidents.
“I hated it,” says Arendt, who was aged 19 at the time. “I couldn’t stop empathising with the inmates.”