MOVES to make the case of Bahrain's six Guantanamo Bay detainees a national issue began last night.
This was marked by the launch of a national support committee at Al Menbar National Islamic Society, Muharraq.
The Detainees Support Committee has been working unofficially for the release of the prisoners for over two years.
It is led by MP Shaikh Mohammed Khalid Mohammed, who urged the Bahraini government to start pressurising the US for the detainees' release.
"The Bahraini government isn't doing anything and what was achieved so far is just due to the efforts of volunteer lawyers working on their release," he said.
"The committee will spearhead a national campaign for their release, including putting up banners, distributing leaflets and flyers and holding festivals in their support."
Shaikh Mohammed said the government has been telling everyone it was following up the case and that the prisoners would be freed.
"But everyone knows that nothing has been done yet," he said.
"They are either joking with us or playing with our emotions.
"This is not funny or entertaining and there are families who are still heart-broken and eager to meet their loved ones."
Shaikh Mohammed called upon people to dig deep into their pockets to support the campaign.
"The committee's sub-committees will draw up plans for events and activities, which are in need of financing," he said.
"We will do whatever we can to make people aware of our plight and show the rest of the world that our six children are innocent and should be back home with their families, who are waiting for their return."
The event also included a speech by Abdulla Kamel Hajee, who spoke on behalf of the detainees' families.
It also included a poem by Bahrain University lecturer Khalifa Al Arabi, on the harsh conditions the detainees are living in and the suffering they are going through.
The six detainees are Juma Mohammed Al Dossary, Essa Al Murbati, Salah Abdulrasool Al Blooshi, Adel Kamel Hajee, Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Abdulla Majid Al Nuaimi.