US transfers Guantanamo Bay detainee after court ruling

Published June 25, 2022
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: The Pentagon said on Friday it had transferred an Afghan detainee who was held at Guantanamo Bay for 15 years, a move that comes after a court ruled the United States had no legal justification to hold him.

Opened under Republican President George Bush, the Guantanamo Bay prison had its population peak at about 800 inmates. President Barack Obama, a Democrat like Biden, whittled down the number, but his effort to close the prison was stymied, largely by Republican opposition in Congress.

The latest transfer reduces the number of detainees to 36.

In a statement, the Pentagon said Asadullah Haroon al Afghani had been transferred from the detention facility and would be repatriated to Afghanistan. It thanked the Qatari government for its help. In October, a US court ruled that Haroon’s detention was unlawful. Prior to the ruling, a review board of national security officials had said Haroon was eligible to be transferred.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2022

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