US sends 6 Guantanamo Bay detainees to Uruguay as 'refugees'
The US has taken up Uruguay’s offer of resettling six detainees from Guantanamo Bay detention center, which has stained the reputation of Barack Obama after he promised to close the facility in 2008.
Six individuals who have been held more than 12 years at Guantanamo Bay have been transferred to Uruguay where they will be resettled as refugees, according to a statement by the US government and reported by AP.
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All six had been imprisoned for suspected affiliations with Al-Qaeda but were never formally charged. The Pentagon on Sunday identified the nationalities of the men as four Syrians, a Tunisian and a Palestinian.
All 6 detainees airlifted to Uruguay overnight got to #Guantanamo in 2002. None was ever charged there with a crime. pic.twitter.com/jTpg0PNzbf— Carol Rosenberg (@carolrosenberg) December 7, 2014
Uruguayan President Jose Mujica this week in an open letter has reiterated his call for Obama to free the 142 detainees languishing at the Cuban facility, saying it would be a humanitarian gesture for "human beings who were suffering an atrocious kidnapping at Guantanamo."
Mujica originally made his offer in March, pledging that the South American country would take in the detainees, thus helping the US leader fulfill his long-delayed pledge to shutter the facility.
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The Obama administration has come under fierce global
condemnation for not closing the site, where prisoners have waged
hunger strikes to protest everything from religious persecution
to military tribunals.
Amnesty International has called Guantanamo Bay “the Gulag of our times.”