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Yemeni Detainees in Guantanamo Bay Go on Hunger Strike
  Written By:  Hakim almasmari ( YEMEN POST STAFF )
  Article Date:
January 12, 2009


More than 100 Yemeni Detainees in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba are continuing their hunger strike in protest against their maltreatment and detention without legal justification, The National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms (HOOD) said.

Sources informed HOOD that Abdul Salam Al-Hilah along with a number of the strikers suffer from bad health, and are now fed through pipes, and the U.S. administrations summoned a team of civil doctors to take care of the strikers.

The source added that Abdul Salam Al-Hilah, one of the Yemeni detainees has become seriously ill and is taking part along with another 101 detainees in a joint hunger strike.

Al-Hilah was accused along with other Yemeni citizens to be responsible for helping some terrorists and Arab Afghans to deport from Yemen.

Meanwhile, the Yemeni detainees also complain that they are not allowed to call families. However, the International Red Crescent Committee intervened lately and convinced US authorities to allow Yemeni detainees at the prison to phone their families.

When a number of prisoners' lawyers visited Yemen, they carried with them letters to the detainees relatives. Besides providing emotional relief for the families, these messages give very little indication of what the detainees endure in Guantanamo.

The letters only reassure the detainees' families that they are still alive, but give no details of their daily existence, because the letters are subject to severe restriction by the U.S. security forces. 

By the time Yemen received one of its Guantanamo detainees, Hamdan Salim, former Bin Laden's driver, local politicians said that the Yemeni government does not actually want the detainees back and is content to let them remain in U.S. custody.

The Amnesty International report accused Yemen and the U.S. of maltreating Yemeni detainees transferred from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to Yemen as the detainees are landed in Yemeni security prisons.

More than 200 Yemenis have been detained at Guantanamo since January 2002, and they now comprise the largest group remaining at the camp. Only 14 Yemenis (including the body of one detainee who committed suicide) have been flown home.