On the 7th December last year, Uruguay welcomed six former detainees from Guantánamo Bay's prison. Four out of six of these men, who arrived under the presidency of José Mujica, camped outside of the US  Embassy in Montevideo on the 24th April, in order to protest against the situation they find themselves in today.

These men came to Uruguay as asylum seekers and explain that their current situation is not sustainable, therefore they are asking the US for financial help. Furthermore, they spoke of how their fellow inmates now in Germany, also find themselves in a similar situation.

That is why, last Saturday, they published a statement on their website explaining that they protest in order to make their "voices heard" by the US and the rest of the world. "We do not want to be in this situation, nor is it something we have chosen, but rather we have been forced into it," they express in the statement signed by ex-inmates Abdul Din Mohammed Tawes, Abed al-Hadi Omar Farage and Ali Al Shabaan, whilst also recalling the fact that they were imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay for 13 years "without charge" until the US government "decided" to release them "and reached an agreement with Uruguay's government" to give them shelter five months ago.

"They should give us the necessary means in order for us to lead a normal, dignified life as human beings", they claim in this statement, as well as explaining that it is the US who should be liable for them financially and not the South American country, due to the economic differences in both countries, but also because it was the US who locked them up all this time. "They cannot make others pay for their mistakes, they should help us and provide us with housing and financial aid", they added in another statement in which they further explain that Uruguay is the country where they would like to live and work, but in order to do this, they need their basic needs to be met.

Therefore, they declare that the first thing they need and want is that they are allowed to learn Spanish. None of them can speak Spanish very well, and although two of them communicate in English and Italian, the other two can only speak Arabic.

Adel Ben Mohamed explains that they will stay put in front of the embassy until they receive help. Alí Al Shabaan stresses that if it was the US who sent them to Uruguay, then they should be held accountable: "The US brought us here and they should take responsibility for us", he stated clearly in an interview. "My fellow inmates and I were imprisoned for 13 years without charge and we feel that it is their place to help us", adds another ex-prisoner.

The young men relate how the SEDHU body helped them at first, but then things turned around when they did not want to sign some papers, which they felt diverged from what had been agreed with the Foreign Ministry. "Right now, we do not receive any kind of aid", they stressed, underlining the fact that they do not want to "appear ungrateful to the Uruguayan people and government".

Originally published on Blasting News Spain by Patricia Gardeu. #Society