Ali Shabaan (Syrian), Abdul (Tunisian), Abdul Hadi Faraj (Syrian) and Ahmed (Syrian).
We are ex-Guantánamo detainees, we were transferred to Uruguay at december 7 2014.
We spent 13 years of our lives in a prison without any charges and after that, the US government decided to release us and they reached an agreement with the government of Uruguay to receive us, and now we have been living here for almost 5 months.
The reason we decided to protest in front of the US embassy is that we wanted from them and from all the world to hear our voices. It´s something we didn’t want nor called for but unfortunately we were pushed to it. We tried every possible and official way, we talked to many representatives of the government but our conditions didn’t change.
We know that Uruguay is a “small country”, but with ¨big hearts”, we know that it is, as Mr Mujica said “a poor country” and that´s why we are protesting in front of the embassy because the US government detained us wrongfully for 13 years and now they should provide us with the means to live as normal human beings. They can´t just throw the mistakes on others, they should help us with houses and financial support. We are not asking the impossible from them they detained us for 13 years and they should help form some years to come. We think that this is the least they could do or we can ask for.
We also want to clarify to the Uruguayan people that we want to work and live in Uruguay. However it must be understood that this is a process that takes time; for example: our first goal is to learn spanish.
SEDHU is the organization that was helping us with the money, but they cut it off now because we refused to sign some papers they brought to us, because the conditions are different from what we agreed with the Foreign Minister. When we meet with the Foreign Minister, he told us that we are political refugees and promised us that as long as we are living in Uruguay the government will be providing us with houses, and he said that the government will cover the house bills (water, electricity, gas and internet) for 3 years.
So now we don´t have any kind of help at all. We don’t want to seem ungrateful with the Uruguayan people and the government. We appreciate everything it´s been done for us, but the point is that we are not in agreement with SEDHU conditions, instead we do agree with the conditions of the Foreign Minister he told us when we met him.