Six former Guantanamo Bay prisoners are currently undergoing medical checks after being flown to Uruguay for resettlement.
The six – four Syrians, a Tunisian and a Palestinian
had been detained as suspected militants with ties to al Qaeda since 2002 but were never charged.
Uruguay says it is taking the men as refugees on humanitarian grounds.
Uruguay’s President José Mujica has called the prison “a disgrace” :
“It’s not a prison, that’s a kidnapping place. Because a prison implies a reference to a legal system, with the presence of an attorney,with a decision taken by a judge, a minimal reference to any judicial point of view. There is nothing of this.”
Guantanamo was opened by US President George W. Bush after the September 11 2001 attacks on the United States, to house terrorism suspects rounded up overseas. Most of the detainees have been held for a decade or more without being charged or tried.
There are currently 136 inmates at Guantanamo. President Barack Obama promised to close the prison when he took office nearly six years ago, but has faced obstacles including finding countries to accept the detainees and objections from Congress.
More prisoners are expected to be repatriated or sent to their homelands by the end of the year.