Several hundred protesters gathered on Monday before the American ambassy in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, to denounce U.S. President Obama's administration's policy in Guantanamo Bay prion, America's infamous terror penitentiary.
The protesters, rights activists and family members of Gitmo's prisoners called for the immediate repatriation of all prisoners, accusing Washington of inhumanely prolonging the suffering of prisoners, when a majority had already been cleared for transfer while others lingered in limbo awaiting to be formerly charged.
Since February a majority of Gitmo prisoners have staged a hunger strike, determined to make their plight public and mobilize public support.
While U.S. President Barack Obama agreed in May to lift a moratorium preventing the transfer of Yemen prisoners back to their homeland following much public and political pressure, the House of Representatives voted a restriction on the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, shattering all hopes of a swift return.
Currently Guantanamo holds some 166 prisoners; eighty six of those held are Yemenis with 56 of them cleared for release.
Unlike other demonstrations, Monday gathering was joined in by CODEPINK, a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement.
CODEPINK sent a delegation to Yemen on June 12 to experience first hand America's war on terror in Yemen. The activists met with victims of U.S. drone strikes, family members of Yemeni Guantanamo prisoners cleared for release and Yemeni rights activists.
“We absolutely need to close Guantanamo Bay Prison,” said Colonel Ann Wright of CODEPINK and Veterans for Peace. “President Obama can take action by immediately releasing the 86 prisoners who have been cleared for release, then formally charge and try the remaining prisoners in fair and open proceedings."