Five Guantanamo prisoners released to Kazakhstan01 january 2015, 11:54
On Tuesday, Yemeni Asim Thahit Abdullah al Khalaqi, Muhammed Ali Hussein Khnenah, Sabri Mohammed Ebrahim al Qurashi, Tunisians Adel Bin Ahmed Bin Ibrahim Hkiml and Mohammed Abdul Rahman were transferred after more than 11 years of imprisonment at the Guantanamo Bay prison.
According to AFP, the Pentagon said in a statement that the five men "were unanimously approved for transfer" after a thorough review by a task force of several US government agencies. As of today, there are 127 detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison. This is the lowest number of detainees since George W. Bush.
On December 20, President of the USA Barak Obama once again addressed the Congress asking to close the detention center. “The Guantánamo detention facility's continued operation undermines our national security. We must close it,” Obama said. Barak Obama’s administration will now work on closing the facility and transferring detaining to other countries.
On December 31, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Guantanamo prisoners arrived to Kazakhstan as asylum seekers.
Three Yemeni and two Tunisian nationals have never been tried and spend over 11 years in Guantanamo. They were finally released for insufficient evidence.
This is the first time Kazakhstan accepted former prisoners for resettlement.
“Kazakhstan agreed to accept the five men based on their personal request, a petition from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and following the international commitments the country undertook. In particular, the country’s adheres to the 1951 Refugee Convention and humanitarian beliefs,” the press office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The five men have been given the status of asylum seekers. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan is now to decide whether the men are to be granted the refugee status.
Human right organizations will cover the costs of the Guantanomi detainees transfer to Kazakhstan as well as other subsequent expenses.
By Gyuzel Kamalova