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Yemen plans rehabilitation program for Guantanamo returnees

Sana’a, June 7, 2008 (YemenOnline) -  The U.S. ambassador to Yemen, Stephan Seche, recently headed for Washington to  brief the American Administration on a program Yemen has prepared to rehabilitate returnees from Guantanamo, ”well-informed” sources told defense ministry website on Friday.   

The source added that the program aims at rehabilitating and integrating Yemeni deportees from Guantanamo as part of its strategy to combat terrorism.

Several Yemeni detainees held in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba called their families in Yemen last week for the first time since their detention after the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001. 

The government of Yemen has recently renewed its request to the U.S. administration to extradite Yemeni detainees held in Guantanamo detention.   

Yemen said it will also prosecute and under the Yemeni law any detainee found involved in terrorist acts. 

Yemen has received about 13 of its prisoners in Guantanamo detention.   

It is said that there are over 100 Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo.  

Former Guantanamo detainee, Sami al-Hajj, al-Jazeera TV cameraman, said that there are 85 Yemeni detainees held in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba although their extradition was cleared last year.   

Recently released al-Hajj told the executive director of the Sana’a-based National Commission for the Defense of Rights and Liberties (HOOD), Khaled al-Anesi, that the American administration cleared the extradition of 85 Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo last year yet they are still held in the detention.   

Al-Hajj added that 15 Yemeni cleared prisoners were supposed to arrive in Yemen last March but they did not.   

He pointed that some Yemeni detainees have become mentally ill as Guantanamo Bay authorities “force them to take some kind of pills that cause hallucinations and because of the bad detention conditions.

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