WASHINGTON: An Algerian man imprisoned at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre for nearly 20 years has been released and sent back to his homeland. The Department of Defence announced on Saturday that Sufiyan Barhoumi was repatriated with assurances from the Algerian government that he would be treated humanely there and that security measures would be imposed to reduce the risk that he could pose a threat in the future.

The Pentagon did not provide details about those security measures, which could include restrictions on travel.

Barhoumi was captured in Pakistan and taken to the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2002. The United States eventually determined he was involved with various extremist groups but was not a member of Al Qaeda or the Taliban, according to a report by a review board at the prison that approved him for release in 2016.

US authorities attempted to prosecute Barhoumi but the effort fizzled amid legal challenges to the initial version of the military commission system set up under President George W. Bush.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2022

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