Two males who’ve been held for years with out expenses at Guantánamo Bay — a Yemeni and an Afghan whose repatriation would probably require reaching an settlement with the Taliban — have been accepted for switch, in line with paperwork launched on Wednesday.
The interagency Periodic Overview Board endorsed the transfers of Sanad Yislam al-Kazimi and Assadullah Haroon Gul with safety preparations, however didn’t counsel the place Mr. Gul, an Afghan citizen who has been held by the U.S. army since 2007, may be despatched.
The board stated that Mr. al-Kazimi ought to be resettled in Oman, a Persian Gulf nation abutting his native Yemen whose rehabilitation program obtained 30 detainees throughout the Obama administration. Yemen is taken into account too unstable to observe and assist rehabilitate returnees.
The board accepted Mr. al-Kazimi’s switch on Oct. 7, lower than two weeks after the State Division official answerable for overseeing detainee switch preparations, John T. Godfrey, visited Oman, the United Arab Emirates and London in his capability as performing coordinator for counterterrorism.
Biden administration officers wouldn’t touch upon efforts to repatriate or resettle the cleared detainees.
Mr. al-Kazimi, 41, was captured in Dubai in January 2003. U.S. army intelligence thought-about him to be a bodyguard to Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Mr. al-Kazimi’s lawyer, Martha Rayner, a professor at Fordham Regulation College, stated he was in “fairly good” well being and “seems ahead to being transferred as rapidly as potential.”
Protection Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and different officers have stated the president’s purpose is to empty the detention heart at Guantánamo Bay, reviving a promise made by President Barack Obama when Mr. Biden was the vp.
Congress thwarted that effort by forbidding the switch of any detainee from Guantánamo to the US for any cause. The Biden administration has made no progress on lifting the restriction, which might be a key step towards closing the jail. Just one detainee, Abdul Latif Nasser of Morocco, has been launched since Mr. Biden took workplace, and that was beneath an settlement reached throughout the Obama administration.
The disclosures on Wednesday raised to 12 the variety of males among the many 39 wartime detainees at Guantánamo who will be launched if the US can attain an settlement with a receiving nation to impose safety restrictions, which would come with measures reminiscent of proscribing their skill to journey overseas.
One other 12 are in army fee proceedings, six of whom are charged in capital circumstances. The opposite 15 detainees are held as “legislation of struggle” prisoners, basically perpetually captives of the battle that started after the assaults of Sept. 11, 2001.
Ms. Rayner stated Mr. al-Kazimi sought to be transferred to an Arabic-speaking nation the place he could possibly be reunited along with his spouse and would be capable to “sometime see his 4 kids and his grandchildren.”
“What he needs is to stay in a steady nation in peace,” she stated. However she added that Mr. al-Kazimi is “involved in regards to the unknowns forward of him — and is aware of that many males have been cleared and but languished for years.”
Mr. Gul’s switch presents extra difficulties. His attorneys have been pursuing his launch by means of an illegal detention petition in federal court docket, and final yr obtained help for his repatriation from the federal government of Afghanistan, earlier than it fell to the Taliban.
Perceive the Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan
Who’re the Taliban? The Taliban arose in 1994 amid the turmoil that got here after the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989. They used brutal public punishments, together with floggings, amputations and mass executions, to implement their guidelines. Right here’s extra on their origin story and their document as rulers.
He was captured by Afghan forces whereas serving as a commander of the Hezb-i-Islami militia, which fought the American and allied invasion of Afghanistan together with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The board stated in its resolution, additionally dated Oct. 7, that it had concluded he could possibly be safely transferred, with safety preparations, in gentle of his “lack of a management position in extremist organizations and his lack of a transparent ideological foundation for his prior conduct.” It didn’t make a suggestion on the place he ought to go.
The US has repatriated greater than 200 Afghan detainees throughout the practically 20 years it has held prisoners at Guantánamo, all of them whereas Afghanistan was led by a authorities allied with and supported by the US.
Oman has been thought-about a perfect, culturally appropriate nation to obtain Yemeni detainees. The nation’s program has generated no identified controversy and has helped Yemeni detainees discover houses and jobs and, in some cases, allowed members of the family in Yemen to ship ladies for them to marry.
In distinction, human rights teams and attorneys for some former detainees have criticized this system within the United Arab Emirates for persevering with to imprison detainees despatched there for rehabilitation and resettlement after which immediately repatriating a few of them to Afghanistan and Yemen.