Hunger Striker Near Death? Set Timetable to Transfer Yemeni Detainees
On Wednesday, I met with family members of Yemenis detained at Guantanamo.
Personally, I think U.S. officials are working to try to repatriate the fifty-six Yemenis in Guantanamo who have been cleared for transfer.
But after President Obama’s promise to close Guantanamo didn’t come true, after waiting so long with little information, the families don’t know what to believe.
At this writing, Yemenis who have been cleared for transfer are on hunger strike.
Yemen’s human rights minister says that one of the Yemeni hunger strikers is near death.
It is a plausible danger that one of the Yemenis cleared for release will die on hunger strike, having lost faith that the U.S. will transfer him to Yemen any time in the near future.
If that happens, it would be a tragedy that could have been avoided.
That’s why we want President Obama to establish a public timetable for the transfer of the Yemenis cleared for release back to Yemen. The U.S. needs to communicate to the prisoners’ families that there is a clear horizon for sending their relatives home.
Will you join us in calling on President Obama to establish—and Members of Congress to support—a public timetable for the transfer of the Yemeni detainees cleared for release? You can sign our petition here:
It’s easy to be cynical after President Obama’s promise to close Guantanamo didn’t come true. But right now the families have no information. They have a right to be told by the U.S. government what the plan is to send their relatives home. Sending home the Yemenis cleared for transfer should be much easier than closing Guantanamo. There’s no need to hold up this transfer while unrelated issues are sorted out. Giving the families a clear horizon for the transfer home of their relatives could be a matter of life and death. Even the U.S. government concedes that some of the Yemenis never did anything wrong, never did anything against the U.S.
President Obama should set a timetable for the transfer. Please sign and share our petition now.
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Just Foreign Policy
Help support my trip to Yemen! Our delegation is helping to draw the media spotlight to the US's ongoing drone war in Yemen and put further pressure on the Administration to reform US drone strike policy.