Pentagon says Guantanamo detainee transferred to Morocco
Eva Deschamps / July 19, 2021
President Joe Biden's administration has transferred its first detainee from the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, a Moroccan who has been repatriated, the Pentagon announced Monday.
The Department of Defense announced today (Monday) the transfer of Abdellatif Nacer from the Guantanamo detention center to the Kingdom of Morocco, the Pentagon said in a statement, adding that 39 people were still imprisoned at Guantanamo. The release of Abdellatif Nacer, never charged, had been recommended by the Obama administration in 2016, subject to security and humane treatment guarantees according to the Pentagon, but he remained imprisoned during the presidency of his successor, Donald Trump. Barack Obama had ordered the closure of Guantanamo in January 2009, when he came to power, with the idea of having the prisoners tried by civilian courts. But the decision, very unpopular, was blocked in Congress. Instead, Obama quietly released hundreds of detainees whose release had been approved by the presidential Review Board (PRB). These releases have been halted under Donald Trump. Former Vice President of Barack Obama, Joe Biden remains committed to Guantanamo, assured in April his spokeswoman, Jen Psaki.
The Biden administration is committed to a thoughtful and careful process to responsibly reduce the number of Guantanamo detainees while preserving the security of the United States and its allies, the State Department said in a statement Monday. The Guantanamo prison was opened in 2002, on U.S. soil in Cuba, to hold al-Qaida members and suspected accomplices of the 9/11attackers. The prison has become a thorn in the side of Washington, accused of illegal detention, human rights violations and torture. It has held up to 780 prisoners of war, most of whom were incarcerated despite weak evidence of their involvement. Many were tortured at secret CIA sites before being transferred to Guantanamo. Only a dozen of them have been charged.