Tuesday, 28 December 2010

ICRC facilitates video calls for Guantanamo detainees, their families in Yemen

Source: Xinhua, 29/12/2010

SANAA- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced on Tuesday that it has facilitated video-teleconference calls between detainees at the U.S.-run military jail in Guantanamo Bay and their families in Yemen.

"The first calls were made ten days ago at the headquarters of the ICRC's delegation in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. The latest round of calls was made from Yemen's southern city port of Aden," the ICRC said in a press release.

A total of 90 Yemeni nationals are currently detained in Guantanamo Bay.
"So far, four Yemeni families have used the video calls," Nourane Houas of the ICRC's Sanaa delegation said.

The video calls can last up to one hour, in which detainees for the first time in almost a decade can speak and also see their families in Yemen, the press release added.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has repeatedly asked the United States to repatriate all Yemenis held at the Guantanamo Bay, vowing commitment to enroll them in a rehabilitation program.

On Jan. 22, 2009, U.S. President Barak Obama promised to close the detention facility in Cuba in one year, which he failed to deliver.

In early 2010, Obama said that the plan to close the facility was still on, but his country will not transfer additional Guantanamo detainees to Yemen after a failed bombing plot against a U.S. airliner in December 2009, which the Yemen-based al-Qaida wing claimed credit

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