Two males who’ve been held for years with out expenses at Guantánamo Bay — a Yemeni and an Afghan whose repatriation would almost certainly require reaching an settlement with the Taliban — have been permitted for switch, in line with paperwork launched on Wednesday.
The interagency Periodic Evaluate 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. navy since 2007, may be despatched.
The board mentioned that Mr. al-Kazimi must be resettled in Oman, a Persian Gulf nation abutting his native Yemen whose rehabilitation program acquired 30 detainees throughout the Obama administration. Yemen is taken into account too unstable to observe and assist rehabilitate returnees.
The board permitted 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. navy intelligence thought of him to be a bodyguard to Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Mr. al-Kazimi’s lawyer, Martha Rayner, a professor at Fordham Legislation College, mentioned he was in “fairly good” well being and “appears ahead to being transferred as shortly as potential.”
Protection Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and different officers have mentioned the president’s aim is to empty the detention middle 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 purpose. 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 underneath 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 limiting their capability to journey overseas.
One other 12 are in navy fee proceedings, six of whom are charged in capital circumstances. The opposite 15 detainees are held as “law of war” prisoners, basically without end captives of the battle that started after the assaults of Sept. 11, 2001.
Ms. Rayner mentioned Mr. al-Kazimi sought to be transferred to an Arabic-speaking nation the place he may very well be reunited together with his spouse and would be capable of “sometime see his 4 kids and his grandchildren.”
“What he desires is to stay in a secure nation in peace,” she mentioned. However she added that Mr. al-Kazimi is “involved concerning 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 legal professionals have been pursuing his launch by an illegal detention petition in federal courtroom, and final 12 months obtained support 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 record 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 mentioned in its resolution, additionally dated Oct. 7, that it had concluded he may very well be safely transferred, with safety preparations, in gentle of his “lack of a management function 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 of a great, culturally suitable nation to obtain Yemeni detainees. The nation’s program has generated no recognized controversy and has helped Yemeni detainees discover properties and jobs and, in some cases, allowed relations in Yemen to ship girls for them to marry.
In distinction, human rights teams and legal professionals 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 instantly repatriating a few of them to Afghanistan and Yemen.