Ex-Guantanamo Inmate Who Disappeared in Uruguay Resurfaces in Venezuela
After a month after disappearing from Uruguay, former Syrian Guantanamo prisoner Jhiad Diyab has resurfaced in Venezuela, according to Russian news agency Sputnik and Uruguayan chancellor Rodolfo Nin Novoa.
According to Sputnik, Diyab presented himself in the Uruguayan consulate in Venezuela with the intention to travel to Turkey where a part of his family resides. The Syrian said he came to Venezuela through Brazil by bus.
Diyab obtained refugee status in Uruguay after coming to the country in December 2014. This was achieved after an agreement by former President Jose Mujica and his American counterpart Barack Obama. With him came other five former inmates from Guantanamo.
Last June he left Uruguay without telling authorities of his whereabouts.
Government liaison to Guantanamo refugees Christian Mirza said earlier this month that Diyab had a travel license, so Uruguay couldn’t stop him from leaving.
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Diyab also signed an official document of the State Department declaring that he nor any of his fellow refugees “represent any danger to security matters” for the United States or Uruguay.
The Uruguayan government and the Red Cross were trying to get his family to Montevideo.
His disappearance has raised some alarms in Brazil, where there was fear he had come in contact terrorist cells.
The Diyab situation provoked strong reactions in the United States, where the Congressional Committee for Foreign Affairs questioned Uruguay’s ability to harbor refugees.
The Republican party criticized the movement of the prisoner. Republican House Representative Ed Royce said the Obama administration was allowing “dangerous detainees to be received by countries that aren’t able to handle them.”