The health of a former Guantanamo detainee who resettled in Uruguay is deteriorating as he continues a hunger strike to demand he be allowed to leave the South American nation, activists and officials said Friday.
Syrian native Abu Wa’el Dhiab, who was taken in by Uruguay in 2014 along with five other former Guantanamo prisoners, lay on a bed in his small apartment as he used a laptop to speak softly in Arabic with his wife, Yusra Dhiab, who is in Ankara, Turkey.
“My health situation is dire and if I die it will be the responsibility of the United States and Uruguay,” Dhiab said in a message that was read afterward outside the apartment by human rights activist Andres Conteris.
He added that his daughter is set to be married in a week and blamed the United States for the fact that he will not be there.
Christian Mirza, Dhiab’s government liaison, characterized his health as ‘delicate’ and said he could be hospitalized in the coming hours. A doctor visited Dhiab on Friday but did not comment on his situation.
Uruguay’s government said this week that it was searching for another country to take Dhiab. He has threatened to die on his hunger strike unless he is allowed to reunite with his family abroad.
“I have two options: to reunite with my family in a place we choose, or die here in Uruguay,” he said in the message read by Conteris.