Biden administration transfers its first inmate from Guantánamo Bay


State Department spokesman Ned Price on Monday praised the Moroccan government for detaining Mr. Nasser and took the opportunity to urge other countries – which he did not appointed – to repatriate their citizens who were captured in Syria or Iraq in the conflict against the Islamic State. Many European countries have been reluctant to take responsibility for the treatment of their nationals, leaving them in the hands of Kurdish fighters.

“Morocco’s leadership in facilitating Nasser’s repatriation, alongside its past drive to return its foreign terrorist fighters from northeastern Syria, should encourage other countries to repatriate their citizens who have traveled to fight for organizations terrorists abroad, ”Mr. Price said.

The Biden administration has reinvigorated a parole-type process that was established in the Obama years to examine every Guantánamo inmate who has not been charged with crimes, to decide whether to recommend that he be returned to custody. from another country. The Inter-Agency Periodic Review Board has announced five decisions since Mr Biden took office, and all of those detainees have been approved for transfers – including the oldest man held in Guantánamo, a 73-year-old Pakistani suffering from heart disease and other geriatric conditions.

The panel includes representatives from six national security agencies, including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Pentagon Joint Staff and the Department of Homeland Security, but a transfer recommendation does not guarantee release. The State Department must still enter into a transfer agreement, and the Secretary of Defense must personally approve it and notify Congress.

The council also held a hearing on May 18 on whether to recommend the transfer of the Saudi prisoner who was tortured at Guantanamo, Mr. Qahtani, but did not announce a decision.

He has a separate trial pending in federal court over whether his psychiatric condition, acute schizophrenia, warrants repatriation to medical care in Saudi Arabia because he cannot receive adequate care at the naval base. As part of the lawsuit, his lawyers obtained a court order for a panel of doctors, including two non-Americans, to examine him.

The Justice Department during the Trump administration had opposed the trial, and days before Mr. Trump left office, his secretary of the military changed a rule to try to disqualify all prisoners from Guantánamo. , in particular Mr. Qahtani, of the possibility of an independent examination ordered by the court by outside doctors.

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