Tags: Uruguay | US | attacks | Guantanamo | rights

Ex-Guantanamo Inmates to Move Into Uruguay House

Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 09:37 AM

Five of the six former Guantanamo inmates being resettled in Uruguay will likely move into a house in the capital Montevideo on Wednesday, according to the labor union providing the lodging.

The men have undergone medical checks in a military hospital since they arrived Sunday as part of a deal aimed at helping U.S. President Barack Obama fulfill his long-delayed promise to close the prison set up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Five of them — three Syrians, a Palestinian and a Tunisian — will "probably" move Wednesday into a house set up for them in Montevideo that resembles "any ordinary worker's," said Fernando Pereira of national labor union federation PIT-CNT.

He said the sixth, 43-year-old Syrian national Jihad Diyab, will remain in hospital to recover from a hunger strike that has left him weakened and sparked a U.S. court battle over prison officials' right to force feed him.

Diyab will join the rest of the group a little later, Pereira told AFP.

The men will take Spanish classes and receive professional training at the house, a temporary residence until they settle elsewhere along with their families, he said.

"These refugees are just like you and me. Ideally they'll be seen in the neighborhood as just another neighbor," he said.

But he said their adaptation to Uruguay "will not be easy" after more than 12 years at Guantanamo.

The former inmates have been kept under tight security, a measure the Uruguayan interior minister has said is for their own safety and will continue after they leave hospital.

The men, all in their 30s and 40s, were among the first detainees sent to Guantanamo in 2002.

Detained as part of the U.S. "War on Terror" for alleged links to al-Qaida, they were never charged or tried.

They had been cleared for release, but the United States ruled they could not be sent to their home countries for security reasons.

Uruguay's President Jose Mujica, a former leftist guerrilla who leaves office in March, has said he agreed to take in the inmates in part because he sympathized with their plight as a one-time political prisoner who spent 13 years in jail.

© AFP 2017

 
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Five of the six former Guantanamo inmates being resettled in Uruguay will likely move into a house in the capital Montevideo on Wednesday, according to the labor union providing the lodging.
Uruguay, US, attacks, Guantanamo, rights
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2014-37-10
Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 09:37 AM
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