Three Guantanamo detainees cleared for release; A fourth held as continuing threat

Department of Defense LogoIn July 2016, Guantanamo Bay Periodic Review Boards (PRBs) cleared three detainees for release, and found that a fourth detainee posed a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and would not be cleared for release.

These detainees, each of whom has each been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002, each had argued in separate PRB hearings that he should was not a threat, and that he should be repatriated to his home country or resettled in a third country.

Those cleared between 6 and 11 July 2016 were: Muhammed Rajab Sadiq Abu Ghanim (ISN 044), of Yemen, who requested that he not be sent home to Yemen; Shawqi Awad Balzuhair (ISN 838), also of Yemen; and Abdul Latif Nasir (ISN 244), of Morocco, and whom the PRB recommended be released only to Morocco.  The PRB did not clear for release Said bin Brahim bin Umran Bakush (ISN 685) of Algeria.

As an example of a PRB decision in which a detainee is cleared, I quote below the full text of the PRB decision in the case of Shawqi Awad Balzuhair (ISN 838)

The Periodic Review Board, by consensus, determined that continued law of war detention of the detainee is no longer necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States.

In making this determination, the Board considered that the detainee’s degree of involvement and significance in extremist activities has been reassessed to be that of a low-level fighter. The Board also noted the detainee’s lack of expression of support for extremist ideologies, the detainee’s compliance record at Guantanamo, and the detainee’s lack of ongoing extremist ties.

The Board recommends transfer, with the appropriate security assurances as negotiated by the Special Envoys and agreed to by relevant USG departments and agencies.

The PRB decision in the case of Said bin Brahim bin Umran Bakush of Algeria (denial of release) is found here:

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The Periodic Review Board Secretariat today announced that 7 additional PRBs have been scheduled for detainees in August 2016.

The Periodic Review Boards are being studied by the Period Review Board (PRB) Project of the Indiana University McKinney School of Law.


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