My Brother’s Keeper: a Former Guantánamo Detainee, his Guard and their Unlikely Friendship


Video from The Guardian


"Mohamedou Ould Salahi and one of his former guards, Steve Wood, reunite in Mauritania 13 years after last seeing each other, rekindling an unlikely relationship that profoundly changed their lives. Mohamedou was a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay for 14 years. During his incarceration he was subjected to torture and solitary confinement, but never charged with a crime. His memoir, Guantánamo Diary, became an international bestseller and was adapted into the film, The Mauritanian, starring Tahar Rahim and Jodie Foster." from video introduction.


A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

- Proverbs 17:17


Are we our brothers keeper?

The phrase “my brother’s keeper” is found in the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4:1-9. Not long after the Lord God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden for their disobedience, their son Cain killed his brother Abel out of jealousy that God had found Abel’s sacrifice more acceptable, but He had rejected Cain’s. After the murder happened, the Lord, knowing what had happened, asked Cain where Abel was. Cain’s response was "I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?"


The 50-year-old was detained for 14 years without being charged with a crime


There is some truth in this obvious lie. While none of us are the absolute “keeper” of others in that we are not held responsible for everyone’s safety, every man is his brother’s keeper in that we should not commit violence against them or allow others to do so if we can prevent it. This obligation of “keeping” is something God rightfully demands of everyone, on the grounds of justice and love. Cain’s reply, which can be seen daily in our lives and the world shows a total lack of any kind of feeling or empathy for another human being (the absence of brotherly love) ultimately reveals the kind of selfishness/pride which gives rise to hatred.


I was in prison and you came to visit me ... I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

(Matthew 25:36, 40)


God is with all humanity whether they be Muslim or some other religion. Christ himself ministers to those in prison. We are never alone and God is aware of all people in all places.


"If Jesus were on earth today, would we find Him in the prisons, talking and dining with criminals and outcasts? Of course we would. He would be there "to seek and to save the lost!"

The Scripture passages in this article give us insight into God's heart for prison ministry. We hope you will be encouraged to follow Jesus into the prisons as well as into your community to minister to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families." from Prison Fellowship (link)



The Mauritanian (originally published as Guantánamo Diary) (link)

The Mauritanian: The True Story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi (article Link)