Never formally charged, Yemenis Mouaz Hamza Al-Alaoui, Souheil Al-Charabi and Omar Al-Rammah, Somali Guled Hassan Duran and Kenyan Mohammed Abdul Malik Bajabu received their discharge vouchers at the end of 2021, according to new documents released this week. by the Guantanamo Review Board.
The board of review, which is made up of senior officials from the US administration, ruled that they no longer posed a danger to the United States.
The green light for their release brings to 18 the number of detainees promised for release if the United States finds them a base, which could delay their effective release, because Washington is not repatriating the ex-prisoners to Yemen, country in the grip of a violent civil war, nor to Somalia, another country in crisis.
Independent experts commissioned by the United Nations this week ordered the United States to close its military prison at Guantanamo, the site of
relentless human rights violations.
The infamous detention center, opened just 20 years ago after the jihadist attacks of September 11 as part of
the war on terrorism, housed up to 780 inmates, first locked in cages and then in the cells of the hastily erected prison on the US military base.
Most have since been released, some after more than 10 years of detention without charge.
The prison still houses 39. Ten of them, including the suspected mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, said
KSM, are awaiting trial by a military commission. Two were sentenced and nine others are still awaiting their release.
By declaring these five detainees released, the Biden administration is speeding up efforts to shut down Guantanamo, which had been frozen under Donald Trump.
In a column published on the site LawfareDemocratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said detainees awaiting trial, including KSM, could be tried by US civilian courts rather than by the military commission, which has been accused of abuse, including by wiretapping the exchanges between detainees and their lawyers.
” Now that the war in Afghanistan is over, it is time to shut down Guantanamo once and for all. “
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby assured Monday that the US administration remains
engaged in the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison, located in an American military base on the island of Cuba.
According to their lawyers, some of the last nine potentially released detainees suffer from mental disorders, which complicates their eventual reintegration in their country of origin or elsewhere.
Yemeni Khalid Ahmed Qassim was thus denied his release voucher in December, although the Review Commission acknowledged that he had never been a senior Al Qaeda or Taliban official.
According to documents released this week, the Commission noted that he was not obeying instructions from prison officials and had no life plans that would justify his release.
encourages the inmate to make an effort of obedience and greater control of his emotions, is it specified. She asks Yemeni lawyers to present to her by May a work plan on
how his mental health will be managed if he is transferred outside Guantanamo.