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HomeTop StoriesGuantánamo Panel Approves Transfer of First High-Value Detainee

Guantánamo Panel Approves Transfer of First High-Value Detainee

WASHINGTON — A Somali man who has been held at Guantánamo Bay as a high-value prisoner was accepted for switch with safety assurances, based on a doc obtained Monday, making him the primary detainee who was introduced there from a C.I.A. black website 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 turned the 14th or fifteenth of the 39 detainees nonetheless at Guantánamo with approval for switch as soon as U.S. diplomats discover international locations to simply 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 categorized detention services at Guantánamo Bay with out cost since September 2006. He can’t return to his homeland below 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 Review Board had made however not introduced.

“The administration remains dedicated to closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay,” he stated. “Nothing has changed 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 throughout the Obama administration, placed on maintain throughout the Trump administration and accomplished in July. Once a deal is reached for any of the cleared prisoners, the secretary of protection has to log off on it and Congress must be supplied 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 Facebook that he had additionally been notified that he was accepted for switch. “We ask Allah to release them all,” she stated.

Mr. Alwi has grow to be certainly one of Guantánamo’s best-recognized jail artists. In 2018, replicas of crusing ships that he customary from discovered objects within the cellblocks have been the centerpieces of “Ode to the Sea,” an artwork present on the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. Soon after, the Defense Department declared artwork created by Guantánamo detainees property of the U.S. authorities and prohibited prisoners from giving items to their attorneys or anybody else. Prison employees 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 Center for Constitutional Rights, stated he was knowledgeable of the approval after his consumer was notified of the board’s resolution on Monday morning. The doc, dated Nov. 10, pledged “vigorous efforts will be undertaken to identify a suitable transfer location” that’s “outside the United States, subject to appropriate security and human treatment assurances.”

Mr. Duran lived in Sweden as a teenage refugee, has kin in Canada and has “good options” for potential resettlement international locations, Mr. Kadidal stated. He described him as “smart and resourceful and has the experience of living in several different countries.”

The different high-value detainee who may 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. But final 12 months, Mr. Khan and his attorneys reached a secret cope with a senior Pentagon official to finish his sentence as early as subsequent month and no later than February 2025.

Under that state of affairs, U.S. diplomats must negotiate his resettlement or repatriation as effectively.

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

On Monday, the hospital spokeswoman, Dawn C. Grimes, reported that it had 88 “confirmed, active” instances, and 455 individuals 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 stated, together with complications, fever, shortness of breath and cough. “Currently, no cases are categorized as serious,” she stated.

The base has an 85 p.c vaccination charge, and restricted testing capabilities for the virus. Ms. Grimes stated that the bottom’s exams don’t determine variants, however that “through observation and analysis,” the employees 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 increased number of hospital staff are needed to support Covid-19 mitigation efforts,” an announcement issued by the hospital stated. 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 Defense Department 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 principally National Guard jail guards have been in quarantine.

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