Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Ex-Guantanamo Prisoner Detained in Venezuela | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55356001

Diab, right, reportedly had last been seen in July in Chuy, a small village near the Uruguay-Brazil border. Photograph: Matilde Campodonico/AP

Caracas – Lawyer of ex-Guantanamo Syrian detainee demanded to meet his client in Venezuela on Saturday.

Jihad Ahmed Diab was resettled in Uruguay in 2014 along with five other ex-detainees after an order from U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration.

Diab went off the radar and left Uruguay secretly only to appear later in Venezuela after he crossed the borders through Brazil.

His U.S. attorney Jon Eisenberg demanded in a statement that the Venezuelan authorities ensure that Diab has his legal representation and asked to be allowed to speak with him on the phone.

The lawyer said that it seems as though he will not be having a fair trial.

The lawyer expressed his concerns regarding Diab’s arrest and his current condition in prison given the possibility that the detainee might be on hunger strike.

A U.S. human rights advocate told AFP that Diab is being held at the Venezuelan intelligence headquarters. The advocate, who is in Caracas, said that he wasn’t able to directly contact Diab, but was given a list of things – food and clothing – that the detainee needs.

He added that he hopes he’d be able to meet Diab when delivering the things he requested.

The Uruguayan Foreign Minister issued a statement saying that on July 27 Diab appeared at the Uruguayan Consulate in Caracas asking for help in order to reach Turkey and be reunited with his family.

The statement added that the man is not interested in returning to Uruguay but he requested help to arrange his travel to another country. The foreign ministry stated that it had no responsibility to fund his travel to Uruguay, Turkey or any other country.

It added that there would be no legal problem for Diab to return to Uruguay given that he holds the Uruguayan residency card.

The announcement of Diab’s disappearance confused the U.S. administration and reinstated fears that detainees who had been released from Guantanamo might carry out attacks against the United States.