Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Harry Potter bewitches Guantanamo Bay prisoners - Yahoo! News

Harry Potter bewitches Guantanamo Bay prisoners - Yahoo! News:

By Caroline Drees, Security Correspondent Tue Aug 9, 4:53 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
Harry Potter has bewitched detainees at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, where tales of the young wizard and mysteries by Agatha Christie top the list of most popular books, a prison librarian said on Tuesday.

'Harry Potter is a popular title among some of the detainee population,' said the librarian, a civilian contractor identified only as 'Lorie' who works at the prison camp for foreign terrorism suspects at the U.S. naval base in Cuba.

Lorie said the popularity of the best-selling Harry Potter books, which recount the adventures of a boy wizard as he triumphs over the powers of evil, was matched only by the prisoners' passion for Agatha Christie, some of whose murder mysteries are set in the Middle East.

The Guantanamo Bay prison -- which has come under fierce attack by human rights groups for its treatment and indefinite detention of prisoners -- holds about 510 suspects from 40 countries. Most are from
Afghanistan and Arab states.

But even this remote prison has not escaped the world-wide frenzy over the escapades of Harry Potter and his friends at the Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft. The sixth book in the series by author
J.K. Rowling, which went on sale last month, is the fastest-selling book of all time.

'We have Harry Potter in four languages, English, French, Farsi and Russian. We have it on order in Arabic. We do not have books 5 and 6 in the series, at this time. We have had several detainees read the series,' Lorie said in a written response to questions from Reuters.

'One prisoner has requested the movies,' she said."

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