Pakistani among 10 set to be freed from Guantánamo

Published July 20, 2021
A file photo of Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba. — Reuters/ File
A file photo of Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba. — Reuters/ File

WASHINGTON: Of the 39 remaining detainees at Guantánamo, 10 are eligible to be transferred out, US officials told journalists on Monday.

The list may include a Pakistani, Saifullah Paracha, who spent 16 years in custody without ever being charged with a crime. At 73, he is the oldest prisoner at the US base in Cuba.

Mr Paracha, who is accused of having ties to Al Qaeda, was notified in May this year that he has been approved for release.

“Of the 39 detainees remaining at Guantánamo, 10 are eligible to be transferred out, 17 are eligible to go through the review process for possible transfer,” a senior administration official told journalists in Washington. “Another 10 are involved in the military commission process used to prosecute detainees and two have been convicted.”

The camp had 40 detainees when the Biden administration came to power. The number was reduced to 39 after Monday’s release of a Moroccan detainee.

Earlier on Monday, the Biden administration transferred one of the detainees to his home country for the first time, “a policy shift from the Trump presidency that repatriated a Moroccan man years after he was recommended for discharge”, The Washington Post noted.

Abdullatif Nasser, who was repatriated on Monday, was cleared by a review board in July 2016.

Published in Dawn, July 20th, 2021

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