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Read the scathing words president of Uruguay has for Obama as six prisoners from Guantanamo Bay are sent to Uruguay

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By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online
12/8/2014 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Detainees will get humanitarian aid as they settle, Uruguayan president says

As part of the Obama White House's plan to finally shutter the holding tank for terrorist suspects, six suspected Al Qaeda militants are will sent from Guantanamo Bay to Uruguay. All six prisoners have been cleared for release since 2009. The United States has struggled to find a country to take them. The South American country of Uruguay has since agreed to resettle the men as refugees.

Uruguayan President Jose Mujica, who will leave office shortly, has made it clear that Uruguay would not hold or restrict the six Guantanamo detainees.

Uruguayan President Jose Mujica, who will leave office shortly, has made it clear that Uruguay would not hold or restrict the six Guantanamo detainees.

Highlights

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
12/8/2014 (4 years ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Guantanamo Bay, Uruguay, President Jose Mujica


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Uruguay's President Jose Mujica has said that the Guantanamo Bay detainees will get humanitarian aid as they settle. President Mujica also agreed to accept the men as refugees, and says that they will receive humanitarian aid.

"We are very grateful to Uruguay for this important humanitarian action, and to President Mujica for his strong leadership in providing a home for individuals who cannot return to their own countries," State Department envoy Clifford Sloan said this past weekend.

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The Uruguayan hospital where the six Guantanamo Bay detainees were taken after being released.

The Uruguayan hospital where the six Guantanamo Bay detainees were taken after being released.


The detainees, which include four Syrians, a Tunisian and a Palestinian have been held at the Cuban facility for 12 years. None were formally charged as being al-Qaeda operatives.

The men range in age from 32 to 49 years. All six men received an "approved for transfer" from U.S. authorities and left the military base on a US Air Force plane.

There remain 136 prisoners at Guantanamo, most of whom are detained without charge or facing trial.

In the past month, the U.S. has transferred 19 prisoners out of Guantanamo. Officials said 67 of the remaining detainees have been cleared for release.

President Obama took office vowing to close the prison, but his efforts have been partially stymied by Congress.

President Mujica, who will leave office shortly, has made it clear that Uruguay would not hold or restrict the six Guantanamo detainees.

"The first day that they want to leave, they can leave," Mujica said in a Spanish-language interview with state television TNU.

In the interview Mujica, a former leftist guerrilla who was jailed during Uruguay's 1973-1985 military dictatorship said Guantanamo "was not a jail, it's a kidnapping den," adding that a jail suggests a "minimum of jurisdiction."

A U.S. official said Uruguay agreed to "security arrangements" and that the six would be "free men," though declined to say whether they would be allowed to travel abroad.

Uruguay's president-elect Tabaré Vazquez, who takes office on March 1, said he also supports hosting the men as a humanitarian gesture.

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