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Federal judge orders release of Yemeni Guantanamo detainee

[JURIST] Judge Gladys Kessler of the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] ordered [text, PDF] Monday the release of Yemeni Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed. Ahmed has been held in Guantanamo for seven years after he was picked up in a al Qaeda safehouse [DOD materials; PDF] in 2002 in Faisalabad, Pakistan where he had been staying for four months. Though he has tangential connections to al Qaeda and the Taliban, Ahmed was never in Afghanistan and never fought for either organization. Kessler granted Ahmed a writ of habeas corpus and ordered the government to take diplomatic steps to release Ahmed [AP report]. The government must report back on their progress by June 15.

Last week, US Attorney General Eric Holder [official profile] said that the US has cleared 30 Guantanamo Bay detainees for release and will begin formally requesting [JURIST report] that European countries accept them within weeks. In March, top officials from the Obama administration met with leaders from the European Union (EU) [official website] to discuss preliminary plans to transfer [JURIST report] Guantanamo Bay detainees to European countries. Individual member states have also indicated their openness to accepting detainees, including Lithuania, Ireland, Germany, and Portugal [JURIST reports]. Other states have expressed reservations about accepting detainees, including Poland and Spain, while Italy [JURIST reports] and the Netherlands [AFP report] have said they will not accept detainees.

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