[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced Friday that Kuwaiti Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Khaled Al-Mutairi has been returned to his home country [press release]. The US government alleged that Al-Mutairi had fought against American troops in Afghanistan, but in his almost eight years at the facility, no charges were ever filed. Al-Mutairi maintains that he had traveled to Afghanistan to provide monetary support for schools. In his home country, Al-Mutairi will participate in a rehabilitation program [AFP report] set up by the Kuwaiti government, designed to help former Guantanamo detainees recover and reintegrate into civilian life. The DOJ also announced that a second detainee, whose identity has not been released, was released to Belgium. Al-Mutairi's release leaves 222 detainees who must be dealt with before the Obama administration's goal of closing the facility [JURIST report] can be realized.
Al-Mutairi's release was ordered [JURIST report] by federal judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] when she granted his petition [opinion, PDF] for habeas corpus in July. Al-Mutairi was one of several Kuwaiti detainees remaining at Guantanamo. Most recently, Kollar-Kotelly ordered the release JURIST report] of Fouad Al Rabiah, another Kuwaiti man who had been held for seven years under suspicion of aiding the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Two weeks before that order, Kollar-Kotelly denied the petition [JURIST report] of Kuwaiti detainee Fawzi Khalid Abdullah Fahad Al Odah, who admitted to traveling to Afghanistan to meet with the Taliban.