[VIDEO] Solidarity With Former Guantanamo Prisoner, Jihad Deyab, Who is On the Brink of Death

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By: Dante Fernández / Source: AFP, Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / September 13, 2016.

Jihad Deyab continues his hunger strike to demand being reunited with his family. The situation is critical because the former prisoner might die any time now, since his medical condition is worsening every day. Jihad and other former Guantanamo prisoners were outright set up by the Government of José Mujica who, in an agreement with Barack Obama’s administration, accepted to receive them and put up a show about it (as he usually does) but then abandoned them to their own fate.
Why can’t Diyab leave Uruguay and why can’t his family come to visit?

What is the Former Guantanamo Prisoner Demanding?

Syrian Jihad Diyab, one of the six former Guantanamo prisoners who arrived to Uruguay by the end of 2014, doesn’t want to stay in Uruguay and he doesn’t want his family to come to Montevideo either. Diyab spent 12 years at the U.S. prison located in usurped Cuban territory without any concrete accusation against him due to an alleged link to Islamic terrorist groups. When he started to demand permission to leave the country, he initiated a hunger strike. that was month ago and now it’s been more than a week since he has consumed any fluids. His request is for the Uruguayan Government to help him relocate in another country with his wife and children.  

Where does Jihad Diyab want to go?

Former Guantanamo prisoner has expressed in several occasions his dissatisfaction with the conditions in Uruguay. Last June he abandoned the country through the Uruguayan city of Chuy and ended up in Venezuela in July. The government of Nicolas Maduro deported him to Montevideo a few days after that. The Uruguayan Chancellor’s Office informed that Diyab’s intention was to travel to Turkey or “to another country, different to Uruguay, to meet with his family”.

Why can’t he leave the country?

As a response to Diyab’s request, the government has sought to find an Arab or Muslim country that is willing to welcome the former prisoner, but this was no easy task. Their priority was Turkey, but so far, no country has agreed. Apart from that, now the former prisoner has decided he doesn’t want his family to come to the country. “I will see my family in another country or I will die”, he said on a video broadcasted last week. Preferably, it is foreseen that Diyab will live in in Arab or Muslim nation.

Can he be forced to end his protest?

According to the Uruguayan legislation, the government can’t force Diyab to end his hunger strike. Article 10 of the National Constitution says that “people’s actions which in no way attack the public order nor damage a third person, will be out of reach of the authority of the judges”. At the same time, law number 18,473 on patients’ rights foresees the right of all people to express in writing their will to not receive any form of health care. If he doesn’t do it and if his health gets worse, once he is translated to a health center, doctors will have to keep him alive.

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