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Guantanamo panel clears detainee for transfer to Yemen

The Obama Administration's [official website] panel charged with reviewing the cases of detainees at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] concluded its review [DOD press release] of detainee Mahmud Abd Al Aziz Al Mujahid on Thursday, unanimously finding him eligible for transfer to Yemen. The periodic review board (PRB) was established by Executive Order 13567 [text]. Mujahid was never charged by the military commission, but was originally believed too dangerous to release. However, the PRB ruled that Mujahid no longer posed a security risk and could be transferred, pending a determination that the facility he would be transferred to provides adequate security and humanitarian conditions. The PRB based their decision on continued improvement of the security situation in Yemen and appropriate rehabilitation programs become available.

Mujahid is the latest detainee to be cleared for transfer. Last week, three Uighur Muslim detainees were transferred [JURIST report] to Slovakia. The three detainees were the last of the 22 Uighurs to be released from Guantanamo since the 2008 ruling. In December two detainees were transferred to their native Algeria [JURIST report]. In November, the DOD ruled that media entities would not be allowed [JURIST report] to sit in on the first session of the Periodic Review Board hearings, parole-type hearings for detainees that were established by 2011 legislation. The week before a military judge ordered the US government to submit reports [JURIST report] on prison conditions and removed restrictions on communications between lawyers and detainees. In October attorneys for 5 detainees attempted to declassify [JURIST report] the CIA interrogation program that allegedly subjected prisoners to torture.

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