Guantanamo hearings continue to lead to inmates being released from the island prison. On 11 July 2016, following a Periodic Review Board (PRB), the U.S. released a Yemeni detainee, Mansur Ahmad Saad al-Dayf, to Serbia for humanitarian resettlement. The Periodic Review Boards were instituted following a 2011 Executive Order issued by President Obama, and has helped whittle down the number of Guantanamo Detainees to 76, from a high of almost 800.
Today, another detainee, Muhammadi Davlatov, from Tajikistan, was also released to Serbia. He was cleared for released not through a PRB, but through another process, the 2009-2010 Executive Order Task Force.
This week, on 14 July 2016, another detainee is having his PRB, hoping to plead for his release. Ismael Ali Faraj Ali Bakush, from Libya, will likely ask a the Board for release to Libya or to a third country. I have requested permission to observe this PRB at a remote location near the Pentagon. I will keep you updated as to whether the Pentagon grants permission to review the hearing, which is meant to be “public” and “transparent”.
At a PRB, the detainee makes arguments to a cross-section of representatives from agencies within the US National Security community (Departments of State, Defense, Justice &Homeland Security; Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff). Detainees argue that they are not a threat to the national security of the U.S., and will not get involved in terrorist activity when they are released. For more information on Periodic Review Boards, please check the Periodic Review Board (PRB) Project website.
Following is a Press Statement by Secretary of State John Kerry on the 2 detainees transferred to Serbia today:
Serbia Offers Two Former Guantanamo Detainees Humanitarian Resettlement
Press StatementJohn Kerry
Secretary of StateWashington, DCJuly 11, 2016
The United States is grateful to the Republic of Serbia for offering humanitarian resettlement to two individuals formerly in U.S. custody at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility.
On July 11, the Department of Defense announced the transfer of a Tajik national, Muhammadi Davlatov, and a Yemeni national, Mansur Ahmad Saad al-Dayfi, to Serbia. Each detainee was unanimously approved for transfer by six U.S. government departments and agencies: Mr. Davlatov through the 2009-2010 Executive Order Task Force, and Mr. al-Dayfi by the more recent Periodic Review Board process. Serbia joins 30 other countries which, since 2009, have extended resettlement opportunities to over 100 detainees.
The United States appreciates the generous assistance of Serbia as the United States continues its efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. This significant humanitarian gesture is consistent with Serbia’s leadership on the global stage.