Tuesday, December 31, 2013
They were "ordered" by the court to be released in 2008 and now they are finally released. Their transfer has nothing to do with the bill Obama signed a few days ago---this could and should have been done years and years ago. Carol Rosenberg has more on this sad chapter here. I am copying the government press release just because it is such an incongruous description of the misery we have provided these three men: Detainee Transfer Announced Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby provided the following: "The Department of Defense is announcing today the transfer of Yusef Abbas, Saidullah Khalik, and Hajiakbar Abdul Ghuper from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Slovakia. "These three are the last ethnic Uighur Chinese nationals to be transferred. They were subject to release from Guantanamo as a result of a court order issued on Oct. 7, 2008, by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and are voluntarily resettling in Slovakia. "As directed by the president's Jan. 22, 2009, executive order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of these cases. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these individuals were designated for transfer by unanimous consent among all six agencies on the task force. "In accordance with statutory reporting requirements, the administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer these individuals. "The United States is grateful to the government of Slovakia for this humanitarian gesture and its willingness to support U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the government of Slovakia to ensure the transfer took place in accordance with appropriate security and humane treatment measures. "This transfer and resettlement constitutes a significant milestone in our effort to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Secretary Hagel remains grateful to the Defense Department's Special Envoy Paul Lewis, and Department of State Special Envoy Cliff Sloan, for their and their respective teams' many efforts that facilitated this successful transfer. "Today, 155 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay."
Posted by H. Candace Gorman at 10:06 AM