As of 2013, Guantanamo Bay Prison is still open. Of the 164 prisoners remaining, 86 are Yemeni. Many have been cleared for release since 2004. Their families are waiting in Yemen, with little to no communication with their sons. These are their stories.
On January 11, 2002, the first detainees were brought to Guantanamo Bay Prison.
In eleven years since Guantanamo opened, the prison and detention camp has risen in infamy as a fighting point between politicians and an obvious human rights violation to the general public.
Seven hundred and seventy-nine prisoners have passed through its doors in Guantanamo's eleven year history; 572 have thus far been released.
However, out of all the prisoners released, the most overlooked have been the Yemenis. Of the 164 men remaining in Guantanamo, 86 are Yemenis. Thirty-six have been cleared for release by President Obamas Guantanamo Task Force and many by the Bush administration as far back as 2004. Dozens more are waiting in "conditional detention" limbo.
Though closure of the prison may be on the horizon, no one is looking forward to it more than the families of the Yemenis themselves. Mothers and fathers have little to no communications with their sons, who have transformed from teenagers to men who could have families of their own. Besides the occasional monitored phone call or edited letter, most families have no communication with their sons, much less authorities, the government, or an advocate.
While Washington drags it's feet, families are waiting. Not to see a smaller number on the list of Guantanamo prisoners, but to see their sons to return home once again. These are their stories.
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Alex Kay Potter
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