US approves release of 3 Yemenis held at Guantanamo Bay

English - الأربعاء 12 يناير 2022 الساعة 09:36 م
Aden, NewsYemen:

A US government review panel has approved the release of five detainees held for years without charge at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to a series of decisions issued by the Pentagon on Tuesday night.

But it is unlikely that they will be released soon, as the administration of US President Joe Biden is still working to find countries that will accept them.

According to the New York Times, among those recommended for transfer are three Yemenis, Moaz Hamza Ahmed Al-Alawi, Zuhail Abdo Saeed Al-Sharabi and Omar Muhammad Ali Al-Ramah, as well as Kenyan Muhammad Abdul-Malik Bagabu, all in their forties, and none of them has been charged with war crimes. 

The US Department of Defense also issued an order approving the transfer of Somali Gold Hassan Doran, 47, with all security measures and guarantees taken.

Doran's lawyers had previously revealed that his transfer had been approved, making him the first detainee brought to Guantanamo Bay by the CIA and recommended for his release.

The review committee includes six members from the Ministries of Defense, State, Justice, and Homeland Security, as well as representatives from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but the final decision is made by only the six seconded members of those ministries.

In a statement on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Guantanamo prison, independent experts, who were delegated by the United Nations without an official representation, called for the remaining detainees to be repatriated or sent to safe third countries, and to compensate them for any "acts of torture" they were subjected to.

They demanded the prosecution of those responsible for the acts of torture the detainees were subjected to.

Over the past 20 years, a total of 780 people have been held at Guantanamo.

Most of them were released after being detained for more than 10 years without any judicial charges against them.

Currently, there are only 39 detainees left in Guantanamo, including 13 who have been released, but their deportation is awaiting the approval of their countries of origin or third countries to host them, and 14 other detainees are waiting to benefit from similar release decisions.

As for the remaining 12, only two have been sentenced to prison terms, while the remaining ten are still awaiting trial.

Among those still awaiting trial are Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men accused of planning the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Pre-trial hearings in the death penalty case had been scheduled for this week, but were canceled due to a spike in coronavirus cases at the base, which imposed mandatory quarantine on all travelers upon arrival.

The Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby, had confirmed that the US administration "remains committed to closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay."

"We are in the process of studying the way forward," he said at a press conference on Monday.