Biden administration clears three Guantanamo Bay inmates for release

Three Guantanamo Bay inmates, including an alleged 9/11 conspirator, were cleared by Biden’s administration. 

  • Biden cleared three Guantanamo detainees for nearly 20 years. 
  • One of the released inmates was accused of being linked to Al Qaeda and 9/11. 
  • The decision comes amid efforts for closing down the detention center. 

The Biden administration cleared inmates Saifullah Paracha, 73, and Abdul Rabbani, 54, both of Pakistan, and Uthman Abdul al-Rahim Uthman, 40, of Yemen for nearly 20 years. The three men have been approved for transfer to other countries, FOX News reports.

Credits: Department of Defense

One of the cleared prisoners, Paracha, has been behind bars for 17 years. He was suspected of having Al Qaeda ties. Following his release, Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, Paracha’s attorney, said:

“The Pakistanis want him back, and our understanding is that there are no impediments to his return.”

Prior to his arrest, Paracha was said to be an affluent businessman who lived in New York City. At the time, he was accused of being an Al Qaeda “facilitator.”

Authorities believed Paracha was related to the 9/11 conspirators. 

Despite denying any involvement with the terrorist organization, Paracha was detained in 2003 in Thailand and was transferred to Guantanamo the following year. He spent 17 years being “wrongfully imprisoned,” as his lawyer claims.

Although the board found the Pakistani man is “not a continuing threat,” his release might take a while. Still, it was an important move in advance of necessary negotiations between the U.S. and Pakistan for Paracha’s return.

Furthermore, Uthman Abd al-Rahim Uthman, who has been doing time in Guantanamo since 2002, has also been cleared and is expecting his release. The Yemeni man’s attorney, Beth Jacob, said:

“He was happy, relieved, and hopeful that this will actually lead to his release.”

Biden plans to resume work on closing the detention center after former President Trump halted the efforts. 

Amnesty International stated that President Joe Biden should close down the facility. Daphne Eviatar, the director of the Security With Human Rights program at Amnesty International USA, said:

“Nine people are currently cleared for release at Guantánamo and some have been cleared for more than a decade, yet they are still stuck. This is an outrageous and shameful violation of human rights. President Biden cannot have true credibility advocating for other countries to respect human rights if he does not prioritize closing Guantánamo.”

Biden’s administration was praised for making efforts on shutting down the detention center. While the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) applauded the president for his decision, they urged him to transfer the inmates as soon as possible.

Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, said:

“It’s encouraging that long-overdue transfer or release decisions for indefinitely detained Guantanamo prisoners are finally starting. But implementation is also key, and the administration needs to re-establish a senior position charged with negotiating transfers and actually closing Guantanamo.

An end to almost two decades of military detention of Muslim men without charge or trial is a human rights obligation and a national security necessity.”

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