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US transfers Moroccan out of Guantanamo after 19-year detention

Abdul Latif Nasser [@bridgeinit/Twitter]
Abdul Latif Nasser [@bridgeinit/Twitter]

US authorities today returned Abdul Latif Nasser to Morocco after releasing him from Guantanamo Bay, 19 years after holding him there without charge or trial, rights group Reprieve has said.

"Abdul Latif is the first person released from Guantánamo in over three years," Reprieve added. "Abdul Latif was locked up for more than 19 years without charge or trial. He was unanimously cleared for release by six US intelligence agencies in 2016 – nearly five years ago to the day."

Opened under the authority of former President George W. Bush in 2002 after the horrific 9/11 attacks in New York, Guantanamo – or Gitmo as it has also become known – has been engulfed in stories of human rights abuses with far-reaching calls for it to be closed down and detainees to receive fair trials and access to the legal system.

Former President Barack Obama promised to close the prison facility, however, failed to follow through with his campaign pledge. Some 196 prisoners were released by Obama; however, none were freed after January 2011. Donald Trump vowed to "fill it up… We're not closing Gitmo" when he took office.

The Biden administration today approved three detainees at Guantánamo Bay for release to countries that agree to impose security conditions on them. The approvals raised to nine the number of the 40 detainees who have been approved for transfer to other countries.

OPINION: Guantanamo Bay is America's enduring shame

The three were named Saifullah Paracha, 73, of Pakistan, who was captured in Thailand in 2003. He is the oldest of the detainees and has suffered two heart attacks in detention.

Abdul Rabbani, 54, also a citizen of Pakistan, and Uthman Abdul al-Rahim Uthman, 40, a Yemeni. None have been charged with a crime by the United States in the two decades they have been in custody.

Of the other remaining detainees, 12 have been charged with war crimes, one of them has been convicted, and 19 are considered too dangerous for transfer to the custody of another country.

Of the 39 detainees remaining, 11 prisoners are from Yemen, eight from Saudi Arabia, four from Pakistan, including nationals from Palestine, Libya, Iraq, Somalia, Algeria, Malaysia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.

Still incarcerated:

Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman (Yemen): Recommended for continued detention and possible transfer to detention in the US

Muaz Al Alawi (Yemen): Recommended for continued detention

Ridah Bin Saleh al Yazidi (Tunisia): Cleared for release in January 2010

Mohammed Al Qahtani (Saudi Arabia): Forever prisoner who has been subjected to cruel 'enhanced interrogation techniques'

Khalid Ahmad Qasim (Yemen): Recommended for continued detention

Muieen Adeen Al Sattar (UAE): Cleared for release in January 2010

Suhayl Al Sharabi (Yemen): A forever prisoner who has not been charged

Ghassan Al Sharbi (Saudi Arabia): A forever prisoner after being classed 'too dangerous for release'

Abdul Razak Ali (Algeria): He's never been charged with a crime however is being held indefinitely

Sufiyan Barhoumi (Algeria): Approved for release on 9 August 2016

Ismael Ali Faraj Al Bakush, (Libya): Forever prisoner

Ahmed Muhammed Haza Al Darbi (Saudi Arabia): Pleaded guilty to terror charges on 20 February 2014 he is due to be transferred to a Saudi prison this year

Said Salih Said Nashir (Yemen): Forever prisoner

Tawfiq Al Bihani (Saudi Arabia): Cleared for release in January 2010

Omar Al Rammah (Yemen): Forever prisoner

Saifullah Paracha (Pakistan): A forever prisoner who has never been charged

Sanad Al Kazimi (Yemen): A forever prisoner who has never been charged

Hassan Bin Attash (Saudi Arabia): A forever prisoner who has never been charged

Abdu Ali Sharqawi (Yemen): A forever prisoner who has never been charged

Abdul Rahim Ghulam Rabbani (Pakistan): A forever prisoner who has never been charged

Mohammed Ghulam Rabbani (Pakistan): A forever prisoner who has never been charged

Abdulsalam Al Hela (Yemen): A forever prisoner

Mustafa Al Hawsawi (Saudi Arabia): One of 10 detainees who has been charged

Ramzi Bin Al Shibh (Yemen): Charged and pre-trial hearings are underway

Waleed Bin Attash (Saudi Arabia): He was charged and pre-trial hearings are underway

Abd Al Rahim Al Nashiri (Saudi Arabia): He was charged and pre-trial hearings are underway

Zayn Al Abdeen Mohammed Al Hussein (Palestine-Saudi Arabia): A forever prisoner who has not been charged

Faraj Al Libi (Libya): A forever prisoner who has not been charged

Ammar Al Baluchi (Pakistan-Kuwait): One of 10 detainees who has been charged

Riduan Isamuddin (Indonesia): A forever prisoner who has not been charged

Majid Khan (Pakistan): Accepted a plea deal on 29 February 2012

Modh Farik Bin Amin (Malaysia): Forever prisoner who is being held in a secret prison and is considered a candidate for a war crimes trial

Mohammed Bin Lep (Malaysia): Forever prisoner who is being held in a secret prison and is considered a candidate for a war crimes trial

Gouled Hassan Dourad (Somalia): Forever prisoner who is being held in a secret prison and has never been charged with a crime

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (Pakistan-Kuwait): He was charged and pre-trial hearings are underway

Mohammed Abdul Malik (Kenya): Forever prisoner

Abd Al Hadi Al Iraqi (Iraq): Being held in a secret prison and has been charged

Haroon Al Afghani (Afghanistan): Forever prisoner who has never been charged

Muhammad Rahim (Afghanistan): A forever prisoner who is being held in a secret prison

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