Yemen to Washington: close Gitmo

Yemen has called on the US to free all detainees at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp, saying the move would generate global good-will towards Washington. “I hope that the United States releases all those held at Guantánamo, based on the principles of human rights, freedom and justice upon which your country was founded,” President Ali Abdullah Saleh told President George Bush in a letter. “I am sure that such an undertaking would draw a wide positive response from peoples and countries across the world.” Some 100 Yemenis are held at Guantanamo, making them the largest group among the approximately 275 detainees there. (Reuters, Jan. 12)

“The Yemeni government considers the issue of the Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo as a national issue. Particular attention should be drawn to it,” said Yemen’s Human Rights Minister Huda al-Ban. She called on the US State Department to provide complete information on Yemeni detainees at Guantánamo.

Twelve of the 107 Yemenis detained at Guantanamo have been released—four in the past week. The eight previously released have returned to their homes after serving various periods in Yemeni jails. (Yemen Observer, Jan. 12)

See our last posts on Yemen and the torture scandal.