Silver Lining

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100s protest Yemenis detention at Gitmo

Yemenis protest against the detention of Yemeni nationals at Guantanamo Bay prison outside the US embassy in Sana’a on June 17, 2013.

Press TV

Hundreds of people have gathered outside the US embassy in the Yemeni capital Sana’a in protest at the detention of several Yemenis at the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison.

The protesters, many of whom were the relatives of Guantanamo inmates, demonstrated outside the US mission on Monday, calling on the US President Barack Obama to free the detainees.

“Freedom, freedom for the detainees!,” shouted the protesters, some dressed in orange clothes similar to detainees’ jumpsuits.

Some American activists also took part in the demonstration.

Eighty-four Yemenis are held in Guantanamo, representing the majority of 166 inmates in the US-run facility in Cuba. Fifty-six Yemeni detainees have been cleared for release.

The majority of Guantanamo prisoners have been held for over a decade without charge, with many experts saying the drop in prosecutions means they will stay in indefinite detention.

On June 7, the White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, as well as Senator John McCain said in a joint statement that they would take the required measures to close the military prison.

Prisoners have complained of abuse and torture, and rights activists and international observers have censured the US government’s use of the detention center.

Over 100 of detainees have been on a hunger strike for more than 100 days in protest against their long confinement without charge or trial, as well as the horrible and degrading conditions at the jail.

Reports say some of the prisoners on hunger strike were being force-fed via tubes snaked up their nose and into their stomach, and five had been hospitalized.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has also urged US President Barack Obama’s administration to mend the situation in Guantanamo that has compelled prisoners to starve themselves, saying that the act of force-feeding is akin to torture.


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