MONTEVIDEO – Two of the six former prisoners of the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison accepted by Uruguay as refugees will marry their Uruguayan girlfriends on June 6, sources close to the men confirmed to Efe on Thursday.
The men arrived in Uruguay in December.
Abd al Hadi Omar Mahmoud Faraj, 40, from Syria and Tunisian Abdul Bin Mohammed Ourgy, 50, will marry Muslim women at a mosque in Montevideo.
Other ex-prisoners are expected to witness the ceremonies.
“It will not be something very big, rather an intimate ceremony,” added the sources, without giving details on the venue chosen for the reception following the religious ceremony.
Christian Mirza, a mediator appointed by the Uruguayan government told Efe that the change in marital status will not affect the $558 in financial aid the government has provided each of the men.
On May 19 four ex-prisoners – including Faraj and Ourgy – ended a nearly month-long protest in front of the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo, demanding they be provided with that required “to lead a normal life as human beings” in Uruguay.
The men were held without charge for 13 years at the Guantanamo base.
While the U.S. did not respond to their demands, the Uruguayan Government is assisting with their resettlement in Uruguay through an agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to provide financial and housing support to both men.
In addition, the Red Cross will manage the relocation of each refugee’s families from their countries of origin.
The refugees’ lawyer, Mauricio Pigola, said the grooms are renting houses in which to live with their new wives.
The six former prisoners were received by Uruguay in December as part of a commitment of then President, Jose Mujica, to assist U.S. President Barack Obama, with plans to close down the prison in Cuba.