Home News Guantánamo Panel Approves Switch of First Excessive-Worth Detainee

Guantánamo Panel Approves Switch of First Excessive-Worth Detainee


WASHINGTON — A Somali man who has been held at Guantánamo Bay as a high-value prisoner was accredited for switch with safety assurances, in line with a doc obtained Monday, making him the primary detainee who was introduced there from a C.I.A. black web site to be really useful for launch.

Guled Hassan Duran, 47, obtained phrase of the choice on Monday morning, the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the institution of the detention facility on the U.S. naval base in Cuba. He grew to become the 14th or fifteenth of the 39 detainees still at Guantánamo with approval for switch as soon as U.S. diplomats discover nations to just accept them with safety ensures that fulfill the protection secretary, Lloyd J. Austin III.

Mr. Duran was captured in Djibouti in 2004, spent about 900 days in C.I.A. custody and has been held in labeled detention services at Guantánamo Bay with out cost since September 2006. He can’t return to his homeland beneath a congressional prohibition on the switch of Guantánamo detainees to Somalia, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

John F. Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, declined to touch upon the case or on any approvals that the interagency Periodic Overview Board had made however not introduced.

“The administration stays devoted to closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay,” he mentioned. “Nothing has modified about that.”

Mr. Duran is unlikely to go wherever quickly. The Biden administration has transferred just one detainee from the jail, a Moroccan man whose repatriation negotiations have been begun through the Obama administration, placed on maintain through the Trump administration and completed in July. As soon as a deal is reached for any of the cleared prisoners, the secretary of protection has to log out on it and Congress needs to be offered 30 days’ discover.

Mr. Kirby additionally declined to debate the case of Moath al-Alwi, a Yemeni man in his mid-40s whose sister posted on Fb that he had additionally been notified that he was accredited for switch. “We ask Allah to launch all of them,” she mentioned.

Mr. Alwi has grow to be one in all Guantánamo’s best-recognized jail artists. In 2018, replicas of crusing ships that he original from discovered objects within the cellblocks have been the centerpieces of “Ode to the Sea,” an artwork present on the John Jay School of Felony Justice in New York. Quickly after, the Protection Division declared artwork created by Guantánamo detainees property of the U.S. authorities and prohibited prisoners from giving items to their attorneys or anybody else. Jail workers additionally stopped showcasing his artwork in information media visits.

His lawyer, Beth D. Jacob, declined to remark.

Mr. Duran’s lawyer, Shayana Kadidal of the Heart for Constitutional Rights, mentioned he was knowledgeable of the approval after his consumer was notified of the board’s decision on Monday morning. The doc, dated Nov. 10, pledged “vigorous efforts will likely be undertaken to establish an acceptable switch location” that’s “outdoors the US, topic to applicable safety and human remedy assurances.”

Mr. Duran lived in Sweden as a teenage refugee, has family in Canada and has “good choices” for attainable resettlement nations, Mr. Kadidal mentioned. He described him as “sensible and resourceful and has the expertise of residing in a number of totally different nations.”

The opposite high-value detainee who might grow to be the primary to go is Majid Khan, a U.S.-educated Pakistani man who pleaded responsible to struggle crimes fees and was sentenced to 26 years in jail beginning in 2012. However final 12 months, Mr. Khan and his attorneys reached a secret deal with a senior Pentagon official to finish his sentence as early as subsequent month and no later than February 2025.

Underneath that situation, U.S. diplomats must negotiate his resettlement or repatriation as nicely.

Phrase of the approvals for extra transfers got here at a time of rising Covid-19 instances on the base, which on Monday pressured the Navy hospital there to curtail companies.

On Monday, the hospital spokeswoman, Daybreak C. Grimes, reported that it had 88 “confirmed, energetic” instances, and 455 folks in quarantine or isolation — together with some who had come to the bottom unvaccinated and required a 14-day quarantine.

Two of the residents who examined optimistic for the virus have been minors.

None have required hospitalization, however all have been experiencing signs, Ms. Grimes mentioned, together with complications, fever, shortness of breath and cough. “At present, no instances are categorized as severe,” she mentioned.

The bottom has an 85 p.c vaccination price, and restricted testing capabilities for the virus. Ms. Grimes mentioned that the bottom’s assessments don’t establish variants, however that “via remark and evaluation,” the workers has concluded that the instances are of the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

The hospital was clearly feeling the pinch of the sudden rise, from 17 instances between Dec. 1 and Jan. 4 to 88 without delay on Monday.

The hospital has been providing curbside testing and walk-up laboratory companies, and care at its clinic has been restricted to pressing and acute instances.

“An elevated variety of hospital workers are wanted to help Covid-19 mitigation efforts,” an announcement issued by the hospital mentioned. It added that the hospital pharmacy, the one one on base, shifted to drive-up service solely, ending at midday.

The Pentagon’s Southern Command, which runs the jail, confirmed Monday that it was nonetheless staffing the operation of 39 detainees with 1,500 personnel, each troopers and Protection Division contractors.

It has not disclosed how most of the 900 unvaccinated base residents have been on the detention operation, and whether or not detainees and the largely Nationwide Guard jail guards have been in quarantine.