[JURIST] A senior Iraqi official confirmed Monday that four Iraqi prisoners were released from the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] military prison into Iraqi custody for further interrogation. The anonymous official also confirmed [AP report] that only one Iraqi citizen remains a prisoner at Guantanamo. The US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] announced [DOD press release; JURIST report] last month that the four Iraqi prisoners were released and returned to Iraq. Prisoner Hassan Abdul Hadi al-Jawhar's family was informed of his release by the International Red Cross, but they have not received any information on where he is currently located. Hassan, who was arrested in Afghanistan based on his association with the Taliban and his participation in the anti-Saddam resistance in Iraq, was never charged with a crime. Abbas Habid Rumi al-Naely is another of the released prisoners whose whereabouts remained unknown until today.
Last week, the Pentagon formally dropped charges [JURIST report] against suspected USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahimal al-Nashiri [DOD materials; JURIST news archive], ending the last active military commission trial and complying with US President Barack Obama's executive order mandating a reprieve of the prosecution of all cases at Guantanamo Bay. Last month, Obama issued an executive order [text] to close the Guantanamo prison [JURIST report] in no more than one year. The policy shift has been hailed by human rights groups and international leaders [JURIST report].