Washington (AP) – A 73-year-old Pakistani man, the oldest inmate at Guantanamo Bay, was released on Monday after being sentenced to more than 16 years in a US base in Cuba, a lawyer said.
Seyfullah Parachan, who was arrested on suspicion of having links to al-Qaeda but was never charged with a crime, was cleared by the Prison Review Board along with two others.
As usual, the notice does not provide a detailed justification for the decision, it only concludes that Parachan is not a “continuing threat” to the United States, Sullivan-Benis said.
This does not mean that his release is imminent. But it is a possible step before the US government begins negotiations on a repatriation agreement with Pakistan. The Biden administration has said it intends to resume efforts to close the prison, a process halted by former President Donald Trump.
Paracha’s lawyer said he thought he would return home in the next few months.
“The Pakistanis want him to come back. Our understanding is that there are no obstacles to his return,” he said.
A Pentagon spokesman did not comment.
The Prisoners’ Review Board also informed that the Yemeni Utman Abd al-Rahim Utman, who was arrested in 2002. He has been at Guantanamo Bay since opening in January and has also been reportedly cleared, according to his lawyer, Beth Jacob Jacob, who spoke to him by telephone.
“He was happy, calm, hoping it would really lead to his release,” said Jacob Jacob.
Parachan, who lived in the United States and owned property in New York, was a wealthy businessman in Pakistan. Authorities say he was an “ally” of al-Qaeda in the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who bribed the two conspirators in the 9/11 attacks. He says he did not know they were al-Qaeda and denied any involvement in the attack.
The United States, which seized Paracha in Thailand in 2003 and has been holding him at Guantanamo since September 2004, has long argued that it can detain detainees indefinitely without charge under international law.
In November, Parachan, who suffered from a number of illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease, made his eighth appearance before a review board set up under President Barack Obama to try to prevent the release of prisoners believed by US military operations from Guantanamo. as soon as you get rid of it.
At the time, his lawyer said he was more optimistic about his prospects because of Biden’s election, his ill health, and developments in the case of his son, Uzair.
In 2005, Uzair Parachan was convicted in a New York federal court of aiding and abetting a terrorist attack based on the testimony of the same Witnesses in Guantanamo that the United States relied on to support his father.
In March 2020, when a judge rejected the accounts of those witnesses, և the government decided not to try a new trial, Uzair Parachan was released վեց sent back to Pakistan.
Saifulla Parachan is one of 40 detainees still at Guantanamo Bay since its peak in 2003.
According to the latest decision of the review board, there are now about nine people in Guantanamo who have been released, including one who has been confirmed since 2010. Under Obama, the United States often struggled to find third countries that did not want to accept ex-prisoners. to return men to Yemen because of the civil war there.
Given this story, Jacob Jacob was only cautiously optimistic about his client’s release. “I just hope that 11 years later he is still not sitting there, his permission is still at Guantanamo,” he said.
There are 10 trials by 10 commissions, two of which have been convicted, including one awaiting sentencing. Proceedings in the tribunals were suspended due to the COVID-19 epidemic.