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Ex-Gitmo detainee ends hunger strike in Uruguay; relocation offered

By Andrew V. Pestano
Ex-Gitmo detainee ends hunger strike in Uruguay; relocation offered
Jihad Diyab recently ended a 68-day hunger strike after receiving an offer to be relocated to a different country. Diyab, who is Syrian, was one of six Guantanamo Bay detainees who was granted asylum in Uruguay in 2014. Photo courtesy of Vigilia por Jihad Diyab/Facebook

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Jihad Diyab, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who went on hunger strike in Uruguay, has received an offer to be relocated to another country, his supporters said.

Diyab, who is Syrian, was one of six Guantanamo Bay detainees who was granted asylum in Uruguay in 2014. He began a hunger strike more than two months ago to demand he be relocated to an Arab country in order to be reunited with his family.

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Diyab has been prohibited from being relocated to Syria due to the country's civil war. Uruguayan officials said Turkey and Qatar have refused to accept him.

In the "Vigilia por Jihad Diyab" -- or Vigil for Jihad Diyab -- Facebook group, his supporters said Diyab has ended his 68-day hunger strike and began a diet plan under medical supervision after accepting the relocation offer. The country to which he will be relocated was not revealed by the group.

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"From this group, we welcome the decision of Jihad. While not completely solving his family situation, it is a big step in his struggle, along with having achieved visibility to the serious problem of former Guantanamo prisoners in the world," the group said in a statement on Saturday.

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Diyab previously rejected Uruguay's offer to bring his family to the country. He was arrested as an enemy combatant with alleged ties to militant Islamist organizations but was never charged during his 12-year detention in Guantanamo Bay.

Recently, Mohamedou Ould Slahi -- a Guantanamo Bay detainee who wrote a best selling book about his experiences at the U.S.-run detention center -- was released and he returned home to Mauritania after being detained without being charged in 14 years.

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