[Pnews] Abdul Latif Nasser transferred from Guantánamo

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jul 19 15:11:43 EDT 2021


Abdul Latif Nasser transferred from Guantánamo First release under Biden 
Administration
Reprieve


  *Cleared Guantánamo **D**etainee **Abdul Latif Nasser **Repatriated
  after **N**early **T**wo **D**ecades *


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 19, 2021

Reprieve welcomes the release of its client Abdul Latif Nasser, who has 
been returned to his home country of Morocco after being held for nearly 
two decades without charge or trial at Guantánamo Bay.

Five years ago, in July 2016, he was cleared for release by unanimous 
decision of six US federal agencies, namely the departments of State, 
Homeland Security, Justice, Defense, plus the Joint Chiefs of Staff and 
the office of the Director of National Intelligence. Despite this 
decision, he was held for a further five years during Trump’s 
presidency, which marked a radical change in the US government’s 
position on the release of Guantánamo detainees.

The US rendered Abdul Latif to Guantánamo in May 2002, and in his 19 
years at the prison he suffered myriad forms of torture and abuse. In 
his early years, Abdul Latif was held in solitary confinement, with the 
lights on 24 hours a day and loud music blared into his cell. He 
was unrepresented until 2007. Abdul Latif twice went on hunger strike 
twice to peacefully protest the conditions of his detention.

While still detained at Guantánamo, Abdul Latif described to Reprieve 
what returning to Morocco meant to him, “It’s been 25 years since I 
smelled Morocco. Things like the smell of mint. Or the sea. I have been 
here so long, able to hear and smell the ocean from my cell, but never 
able to set foot in it.”

*Katie Taylor, Deputy Director of Reprieve, said: *

"Almost exactly five years ago, Abdul Latif was unanimously cleared for 
transfer home to Morocco by US security agencies, but remained trapped 
at Guantánamo Bay, at the whim of President Trump, who explicitly 
endorsed indefinite detention without trial.

"This transfer cannot make up for the two decades of his life that Abdul 
Latif has lost, held prisoner without charge, but we welcome his return 
to Moroccan soil at long last. Other transfers of prisoners cleared for 
release must follow without delay."

*Mustafa Nasser, Abdul Latif's brother, said: *

"We have waited nearly 20 years so long for this moment and finally our 
prayers have been answered. To know that my brother has returned to 
Morocco fills me with happiness I cannot even describe. The last five 
years, since he was cleared for transfer but kept in Guantánamo by 
President Trump, have been the hardest of all.

'In two days time the family will gather to celebrate Eid-al-Adha. It is 
my greatest wish that my brother Abdul Latif will be free to join us."

*Notes to Editors:*

1. For more information, please contact Reprieve's Press Office: 
andrew.purcell at reprieve.org.uk or +44 (0)7464 162554

2. A senior Biden administration official has told the New York Times 
<https://reprieve.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=d176b31fc0ccbde9f3f3a6349&id=cd434ac390&e=f8755a10f3> “the 
United States is grateful to the Kingdom of Morocco for its willingness 
to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantánamo Bay detention 
facility”.

3. Abdul Latif Nasser was seized by Northern Alliance fighters in 
Afghanistan in late 2001 and sold for a bounty to US forces. No evidence 
to support allegations against him were ever presented in court, and the 
testimony of several key witnesses in his case had been discredited, as 
they were _tortured 
<https://reprieve.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=d176b31fc0ccbde9f3f3a6349&id=5571a87c7e&e=f8755a10f3>_ by 
their interrogators.

4. Abdul Latif Nasser was unanimously cleared for transfer by the 
Periodic Review Board (PRB) in July 2016. The PRB is an administrative 
process, established by the Obama administration, to review whether 
detention was still warranted for the remaining Guantánamo detainees who 
are known as “forever prisoners.”

5. On January 3, 2017, President-Elect Donald Trump _tweeted 
<https://reprieve.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=d176b31fc0ccbde9f3f3a6349&id=3a6325b710&e=f8755a10f3>_: 
“there should be no further releases from Gitmo.” On January 20, 2017, 
he became President. Only one prisoner, _Ahmed al-Darbi 
<https://reprieve.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=d176b31fc0ccbde9f3f3a6349&id=480676e7c4&e=f8755a10f3>_, 
left Guantánamo under Trump, due to an existing plea deal that saw him 
transferred to prison in Saudi Arabia.


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