MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) – A former Guantanamo detainee who resettled in Uruguay was briefly hospitalized after becoming weak from a hunger strike and then released on Tuesday.
Syrian native Abu Wa'el Dhiab has repeatedly said he is unhappy in Uruguay and is protesting to demand he be allowed to leave the country, which received him and five other former Guantanamo prisoners in 2014.
Dhiab's friend Jorge Voituret said the ex-detainee was hospitalized Monday night in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo. Dhiab's government liaison, Christian Mirza, said he was released Tuesday but declined to comment on his condition.
Dhiab suffers health problems related to multiple hunger strikes and forced feedings while in U.S. custody. He went missing from Uruguay for weeks this year, alarming officials in neighboring countries and setting off recriminations from U.S. lawmakers before resurfacing in Venezuela on July 27.
The Uruguayan Foreign Ministry says Dhiab tried to get help to reunite with family in Turkey or another country before he was deported from Venezuela last week. Since his return to Uruguay, Dhiab has grown frustrated with a government-appointed NGO that he says owes him three months of aid, according to Voituret.
Dhiab and the other former prisoners came to Uruguay at the invitation of then-President Jose Mujica. They were detained in 2002 for suspected ties to al-Qaida and held without charge like hundreds of others at Guantanamo before U.S. officials cleared them for release.
Uruguay has provided social services and financial support, but the men have struggled to adjust and say they don't get enough help. Dhiab has been the most vocal of the group.
Shortly after arriving in 2014, he called a news conference to complain that the government needed a better resettlement plan. Last year he visited neighboring Argentina and told reporters he planned to seek asylum. Dhiab also has accused Uruguay of breaking a promise to bring his family to the country.
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