Ex-Guantanamo inmate ends hunger strike after relocation demand accepted
MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY: A former Guantanamo inmate resettled in Uruguay who went on hunger strike to demand relocation to another country has dropped his protest after receiving an offer, activists said Saturday.
Syrian Jihad Diyab, who began his hunger strike more than two months ago, ended his protest and will travel to a new country, the group Vigilia por Diyab (Diyab Watch) announced, without specifying which country.
“After 68 days on hunger strike, Jihan Diyab’s quest for his right to family reunification has reached a middle stage… with his health now a very serious issue, he received an offer to travel,” the group said in a statement, adding that the 45-year-old is now on limited feeding.
“This doesn’t solve his family situation problem, but it is a big step,” the group added.
Diyab is one of six former Guantanamo inmates resettled in Uruguay as refugees in 2014, part of a deal with the United States to help close the controversial prison set up in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
The men have repeatedly clashed with the Uruguayan authorities over their living allowances and housing, and complain of feeling isolated in the Spanish-speaking country, which has virtually no Muslim population.
Diyab is asking to be transferred elsewhere and reunited with his family, saying he does not have the means to support them in Uruguay.
He began his hunger strike in August in a Venezuelan prison, where he was detained after leaving Uruguayundetected and showing up at the Uruguayan consulate in Caracas, demanding to be taken to Turkey.
Diyab earlier requested a copy of Uruguay’s agreement with the United States on his resettlement.
Uruguay, which has not published the deal, says that he has the right to travel like any other resident.