Gitmo detainees linked to families in S.Arabia using video

16th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

Thirteen detainees at the US prison in Guantanamo Bay have been able for the first time to see their relatives in Saudi Arabia through video link, the international Red Cross said Wednesday.

"This new tool has helped ease the anguish of the families and also of the detainees, since now they can not only talk but also actually see each other," said Sonia Larbaoui, an International Committee of the Red Cross staff in Kuwait.

"Although nothing can replace a personal visit, a video link may well be the next best thing," she added.

Some 25 video-teleconference calls have been made between 13 detainees at and their families in Saudi Arabia over recent days, said the ICRC.

ICRC spokesman Marcal Izard said the agency was unable to say exactly how many Saudi Arabians are being held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but added that the "overwhelming majority" have been able to make use of the video service.

The ICRC also said it plans to continue offering the service once every two months.

"We are aiming at offering this on a regular basis," said Izard.

© 2011 AFP

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