'Fresh Prince' a hit with Gitmo detainees

Librarian: Inmates have lost interest in 'Harry Potter'

Published On: Aug 10 2012 12:03:45 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 13 2012 12:23:15 PM EDT

Prisoners have long been known to find interesting ways to pass the time in their cells. But a librarian at the U.S. Navy's Guantanamo Bay Detention Center in Cuba said "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" is a hit with their detainees.

According to the Miami Herald, a librarian at the facility, who would only identify himself as Milton, told visiting journalists that the 168 remaining detainees at Guantanamo no longer seem to show much interest in the "Harry Potter" series of books. Instead they have been requesting DVD episodes of the '90s hit sitcom starring Will Smith.

The detainees were captured in operations around the world since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The Herald reported that Milton offered no explanation for the popularity of the show among the center's library of 28,000 multilingual books and videos, but that the cooperative captives, who make up most of the detainees, can watch the show communally in their medium security lock-ups. The maximum security inmates, who represent about 15 percent of the population, are allowed to watch the show alone for about an hour or two a day.

He said the uniformed military officials at the center are responsible for distributing the library's material within the cell blocks.

According to the newspaper, commanders at the facility encourage the detainees to engage in recreational activities such as books, videos and soccer, to keep them distracted and to reduce confrontations with guards.

There was no word on what Western preference the detainees showed in music, or if there's been a rash of "Carlton" dancing from the Fresh Prince show seen around the complex.

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