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DOJ drops opposition to Guantanamo prisoner release

The US Department of Justice [official website] filed papers Wednesday dropping opposition to the release of Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] prisoner Ibrahim Idris [DOD backgrounder]. The DOJ will not object to a judge issuing a release for Idris who has severe mental and physical illnesses and whose lawyers argue is not fit [JURIST report] to remain in Guantanamo. Idris served as both a fighter and doctor for al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and has been held for over 11 years.

In August the US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] announced the transfer [JURIST report] of two Guantanamo Bay detainees to their home country of Algeria. The two men, Nabil Said Hadjarab and Mutia Sadiq Ahmad Sayyab [Guardian report], are the first to be released from the detention center in over a year and are reported to have been participating in a hunger strike at the prison. In June a federal judge called on members of Congress and President Barack Obama [official website] to give serious consideration to formulating a different approach [JURIST report] for the handling of Guantanamo detainee cases. Just days prior Obama had appointed [JURIST report] Clifford Sloan to be the new envoy in charge of closing Guantanamo.

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