Latin America & Caribbean

Guantanamo: Former inmate Jihad Diyab 'to leave' Uruguay

Jihad Diyab lies in a mattress on the floor of his house as he holds a hunger strike in Montevideo (09 September 2016) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Diyab had staged a hunger strike in Montevideo

A former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who went on hunger strike in Uruguay to demand relocation to another country has ended his protest after receiving an offer, his supporters have said.

Jihad Diyab, a Syrian, was one of a group of six Guantanamo detainees who were given asylum in Uruguay in 2014 as part of efforts to close the camp.

He had been on hunger strike for 68 days and was at risk of dying.

Mr Diyab had been demanding to be transferred to an Arab country.

He said that he wanted to be reunited with his family.

His supporters have not revealed which country has agreed to take him but officials have made clear that he cannot return to Syria because of the civil war there.

The Uruguayan government is also reported to have said has said that both Qatar and Turkey have refused to accept him.

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"With his health now a very serious issue, he received an offer to travel," The ``Vigil for Diyab'' group said on its Facebook page.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption President Obama has repeatedly said he want to close Guantanamo Bay in Cuba

Uruguay is reported to have offered to bring his family to the Latin American country, but Mr Diyab rejected the offer.

He was detained as an enemy combatant with suspected ties to militants and held for 12 years at Guantanamo, despite never being charged.

While there, he staged a lengthy hunger strike that jeopardised his health and frequently fought with guards.

President Barack Obama has said he wants to close the prison in south-eastern Cuba before he leaves office.

The jail was opened in January 2002 to accommodate foreign terror suspects after the 11 September attacks in 2001 and the subsequent US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Some 779 men have been brought there since it opened.

Uruguay took six Arab men in December 2014 but later said it would take no more, arguing the ex-inmates had struggled to adapt to the country.

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