Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Jihad Ahmad Diyab traveled to Argentina Thursday in order to request asylum from the Argentine government on behalf of several remaining Guantanamo prisoners who are scheduled for release in the coming months.
"Before leaving Guantanamo I was in place where they force fed me through a tube which passed through my nasal cavity. It was in Guantanamo where I had a conversation with one of my fellow inmates from Yemen who told me: ‘When you leave here don’t forget about us,’” Jihad Ahmad Diyab told local media outlet Barricada TV.
Diyab, a Syrian citizen born in Libya, as provided assylum along with five other inmates by Uruguay's left-wingPresident Jose Mujica last December on "humanitarian grounds" after having been cleared of all terrorism charges.
“The entire world knows that we are innocent and that we are victims of aggressive U.S. policy… If you examine the files of the prisoners at Guantanamo, you will realize that many of them are teachers, others are employees of charitable organizations,” said Diyab.
There are 122 prisoners still being held at Guantanamo, built 13 years ago, and most of them have yet to be charged with a crime. Of those, 54 have been determined by the U.S. government to be “releasable.”
“The [U.S.] government has admitted that we were innocent and that we deserved our freedom. But our freedom was largely due to the struggle carried out by myself and many others. There are many people that sacrificed a lot for our freedom,” added Diyab.
Obama promised to close the prison before he leaves office in 2017.