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Protest in Sana'a Calls for the release of Yemeni GITMO Detainees Guantanamo Detainees in the 8th week of Hunger Strike

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By Radhia Khairan
 
Tens of activists and relatives of the Yemeni detainees held in Guantanamo bay prison staged a peaceful protest outside the US embassy today against the prolong illegal and unjustified detention of their beloved sons at Guantanamo and Bagram. Around 94 Yemeni citizens are in custody at the most notorious US military base for more than a decade.
 
It is worthy to mention that the detainees at Guantanamo started a hunger strike seven weeks ago in response to aggressive cell searches, which also included the seizure of personal items, and, in particular, manhandling of the prisoners' copies of the Koran.
 
On 25 March 2013, a great number of the relatives of the Yemeni detainees held a meeting arranged by HOOD at its main office in Sana'a to launch an advocacy campaign for the release of their relatives at Guantanamo and Bagram. "This campaign will not stop until we get our sons back here to their home land", one of the detainees' relative said at the meeting. "we would try all and any peaceful means to release them. It is time that the Yemeni government should demand their release, we invite all media and press outlets to stand by us", he added.
 
The families and the activists handed over two letters to a deputy officer at the US embassy who promised them to be considered.
 
the relatives' statement to the US embassy in Sana'a:
His Excellency Mr. Gerald Feierstein
the Ambassador of the United States in Yemen
Greatings,,,
We are the families and relatives of the Yemeni detainees being held in custody of the US government at Guantanamo & Bagram dark prisons for more than 11 years without being charged of brought to justice. They have been kept under inhuman circumstances during which they are subject to the worst forms of torture and all kinds of cruel inhuman treatment, especially when they are now entering their eighth week of hunger strike.
 
When we hear about a country received all of its citizens or even some, we feel full of hope that our sons are also coming back soon; however, we are grieved with the fact that the Yemeni returnees are the least among the other countries which makes us more depressed and hopeless once again.
 
We express our frustration and disappointment of the justice and impartiality of the US government administrations and law enforcement agents which have failed to bring justice to our people after the passing of all these years, and the failure of the US President Obama to keep his promise to close Guantanamo. We believe that any instant decision to release the detainees and close the most notorious Guantanamo and Bagram Prisons would contribute to mitigate hatred and malice against the American policy in the Arab world.
 
You may aware that  the Yemenis in Guantanamo represent the largest group of detainees and they now constituted more than a third of the detainee population. Since 2009, we have not heard about any Yemeni back to home except the dead ones which increases our own suffering, let alone the suffering of our detained sons which only God Is aware of.
This suffering has undoubtfully resulted in great wounds, pains, moral and material damages on our hearts therefore we hope you convey to your government how all of these pains and suffering are causing us tension and  sadness.
 
Finally, we value the role your Excellency and the US government played two years ago to avoid Yemen the risk of civil war therefore we hope you deal with the case of our beloved sons at GITMO and Bagram at least the way the other detainees from different nationalities  are treated, and immediately release them according to the international human rights treaties.
 
The families and Relatives
               of
the Yemeni Gitmo & Bagram Detainess
1st April 2013.

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