US panel recommends release of mentally ill Guantanamo detainee



This photo, shown by US military officials, shows a sign for Camp Justice at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, which was created after the September 2001 attacks


© Paul HANDLEY
This photo, shown by US military officials, shows a sign for Camp Justice at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, which was created after the September 2001 attacks

According to a government document released on Friday, American authorities have recommended that a mentally ill inmate be released from Guantánamo Bay and repatriated to Saudi Arabia.

Mohammed al-Qahtani, suspected of being al-Qaeda’s intended 20th hijacker in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, was tortured by interrogators at the US military base in Cuba, where he has been held for almost two decades will.

The government dropped its case against him in 2008 because of the ill-treatment he had endured in prison.

The detention of al-Qahtani was “no longer necessary to protect against an ongoing significant threat to the security of the United States,” said the Periodic Review Board, a body composed of several U.S. national security agencies, in a summary his decision.

In its final decision on February 4, the board said al-Qahtani was “eligible for rendition” and recommended that he be repatriated to Saudi Arabia, where he could receive full psychiatric care and be admitted to an extremist rehabilitation center.

The corpse noted his “significantly compromised mental health status and available family support.”

Safety measures, including surveillance and travel restrictions, have also been recommended.

Al-Qahtani was one of the first prisoners sent to Guantanamo in January 2002.

He was flown to Orlando, Florida on August 4, 2001, but was denied entry into the country and returned to Dubai.

He was eventually captured in Afghanistan in December 2001.

His torture in prison was well documented, spurring international human rights groups to call for the site to be closed. He was subjected to prolonged isolation, sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation, and other abuse.

“We tortured Qahtani,” said Susan Crawford, a senior justice official in the Bush administration, in 2009, according to a Washington Post article.

In January, the United States approved the release of five of the 39 remaining men at Guantánamo.

Ten others, including suspected mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, known as “KSM”, are awaiting trial before a military commission.

The US Navy-run detention center was established after the 2001 attacks to house prisoners in the US “war on terror” and has been described as a site of “unprecedented notoriety” by UN legal experts.

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Reference-www.nach-welt.com

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