Families to communicate with Guantanamo detainees

Tuesday, December 28 2010

The International Committee of the Red Cross has recently made it possible for families in Yemen to communicate with their relatives detained at the U.S. facility in Guantanamo Bay for the first time, via video conference, reports Khabrein.

So far, four families have taken part in the two-way video calls, which can last up to an hour, according to the website. In some cases, video conferencing technology gives detainees and their families the opportunity to see each other from the first time in almost ten years.

The first video chats were made in Sana'a, according to the site, and another round of calls took place in Aden, in the south of the country.

A total of 90 Yemeni nationals are currently detained at Guantanamo Bay, and they were previously keeping in touch with loved ones through Red Cross messages and telephone calls.

According to Khabrein, the ICRC has been working in Yemen since 1962 and has tried to provide humanitarian assistance on an impartial basis.

The ICRC works with the Yemen Red Crescent to help civilians affected by conflict in the country, according to the organization's website. Between January and May 2010, the ICRC and the Yemen Red Crescent assisted over 100,000 people in Amran and Sa'ada provinces and ran five camps that housed more than 22,000 displaced people.