Two males who’ve been held for years with out charges at Guantánamo Bay — a Yemeni and an Afghan whose repatriation would most probably require reaching an settlement with the Taliban — have been accepted for switch, according to paperwork launched on Wednesday.
The interagency Periodic Review Board endorsed the transfers of Sanad Yislam al-Kazimi and Assadullah Haroon Gul with safety preparations, however didn’t recommend the place Mr. Gul, an Afghan citizen who has been held by the U.S. navy 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 Department official liable for overseeing detainee switch preparations, John T. Godfrey, visited Oman, the United Arab Emirates and London in his capability as appearing 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 Law School, stated he was in “pretty good” well being and “looks forward to being transferred as quickly as possible.”
Defense 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 United States for any purpose. The Biden administration has made no progress on lifting the restriction, which might be a key step towards closing the jail. Only 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 could be launched if the United States can attain an settlement with a receiving nation to impose safety restrictions, which would come with measures equivalent to proscribing their capability to journey overseas.
Another 12 are in navy fee proceedings, six of whom are charged in capital circumstances. The different 15 detainees are held as “law of war” 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 might be reunited along with his spouse and would be capable of “someday see his four children and his grandchildren.”
“What he wants is to live in a stable country in peace,” she stated. But she added that Mr. al-Kazimi is “concerned about the unknowns ahead of him — and knows that many men have been cleared and yet languished for years.”
Mr. Gul’s switch presents extra difficulties. His attorneys have been pursuing his launch by way of an illegal detention petition in federal court docket, and final 12 months obtained help for his repatriation from the federal government of Afghanistan, earlier than it fell to the Taliban.
Understand the Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan
Who are 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. Here’s extra on their origin story and their file 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 determination, additionally dated Oct. 7, that it had concluded he might be safely transferred, with safety preparations, in mild of his “lack of a leadership role in extremist organizations and his lack of a clear ideological basis for his prior conduct.” It didn’t make a advice on the place he ought to go.
The United States has repatriated greater than 200 Afghan detainees throughout the almost 20 years it has held prisoners at Guantánamo, all of them whereas Afghanistan was led by a authorities allied with and supported by the United States.
Oman has been thought of a perfect, culturally appropriate nation to obtain Yemeni detainees. The nation’s program has generated no recognized controversy and has helped Yemeni detainees discover houses and jobs and, in some cases, allowed members of the family in Yemen to ship girls 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 out of the blue repatriating a few of them to Afghanistan and Yemen.