Washington, Dec 12 (efe-epa).- The Pentagon on Saturday authorized the release of one of the so-called “forever prisoners” from the Guantánamo Naval Base jail since he is not considered a threat to national security.
Yemeni Said Salih Said Nashir has spent more than 18 years, almost half of his life, in the Guantánamo prison, created after the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sep 11, 2001.
In his mid-40s now, the Yemeni man was accused of being a member of Al Qaeda but was never criminally charged.
Guantánamo’s Periodic Review Board, which functions like a parole board since it was created to determine the future of those who were detained indefinitely and who cannot be tried because the evidence against them was obtained under torture, says Said Nashir is no longer a threat to the US.
He is the second prisoner granted the green light for transfer from Guantánamo during the term of President Donald Trump.
However, Said Nashir is yet to receive approval from the State Department, which must find a country to send him if that meets some security conditions.
The last obstacle is still difficult to overcome due to the security situation in Yemen, which in the middle of a civil conflict. But the detainee could be transferred by the US to a third country also.
In reviewing his sentence and clearing him for release, the board acknowledged that Said Nashir had no training or a relevant position within Al Qaeda, his efforts to “improve himself while in detention” and his “credible plan for supporting himself in the event of transfer.”
The man was arrested in Pakistan on Sep 11, 2002, and transferred to Guantánamo jail, which was created by the Pentagon in George W. Bush’s “War on Terror” time.
Of the 40 inmates still at Guantánamo, two-thirds are “forever prisoners,” trapped in a legal labyrinth. Six have been cleared for release, some more than a decade ago, but remain incarcerated.
In 2018, the Pentagon transferred Ahmed Muhamed Haza al Darbi, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison, to Saudi Arabia to serve the remainder of his sentence.
The Guantánamo courts and jail, where the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks is held, have cost taxpayers about $ 6 billion since 2002. EFE-EPA