Thursday, December 6, 2007
From Yementimes.com: While
U.S. military in Guantanamo released hundreds of different
nationalities recently, American lawyers representing Yemeni detainees
at the remote Cuban island claim that the Yemeni government does not do
enough to release its citizens.
“We lawyers have not been given a seat at the negotiating table, so all we can do is speculate. There have been many public statements from the U.S. to the effect that Yemen and a handful of other countries are not willing to negotiate in good faith for the return of their countrymen. As I have frequently stated, if President Saleh really wants to bring the Yemeni men back home, he has to do more than have his spokesmen make empty public statements about "demanding" repatriations. Other countries -- like Bahrain, for example -- have successfully negotiated with the Americans for their citizens’ return. The plain fact is that President Saleh's government has so far failed to deliver. We measure success by results, not by the volume of public statements.” stated Northern Illinois University CrimProf Marc Falkoff, who represents sixteen Yemeni men who have been detained at Guantánamo (Gitmo) for nearly six years.
Yemen less proactive than other countries
Falkoff revealed that more than 770 men from dozens of countries have been detained at Gitmo since 2002, but more than 400 of them have subsequently been released. Saudi Arabia, for example, has had 100 of its 130 citizens returned from the prison camp. He elaborated, “Yemen is now the country with the largest number of prisoners at Gitmo and only 12 of its 110 citizens – including 1 of my clients – have been released in the last 6 years. A thirteenth Yemeni came home in a body bag, having died under suspicious circumstances in the prison. Even more frustrating, a number of the Yemeni detainees – including 2 of my clients – were designated years ago by the military as eligible to return to Yemen, yet they are still in prison on the remote Cuban island.” Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]