[JURIST] Mohamedou Ould Slahi, author of the 2015 Guantanamo Diary memoir, was released [press release] from Guantanamo Bay on Monday after 14 years of imprisonment. He was transferred back to his native Mauritania, bringing Guantanamo Bay’s population down to 60 inmates. Slahi was never charged [Guardian report] with an offense during his time in confinement. His handwritten memoir [website], accounting his experiences in Guantanamo Bay, sparked outrage over the prison’s use of torture.
Last month the US House of Representatives approved [JURIST report] a bill [text, PDF] that would temporarily block the transfer of detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. In August Vice President Joe Biden stated at a press conference in Sweden that he hopes and expects [JURIST report] that the Guantanamo prison will be closed before Obama leaves office. Also in August the US Department of Defense announced the transfer [JURIST report] of 15 Guantanamo detainees to the United Arab Emirates. Earlier in August a US Senator released a Pentagon Report [JURIST report] detailing the profiles of those currently detained in and recently released from the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) concluded that closing the facility would not be in the US’ best interests and would pose a safety risk. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told Fox News in January that Obama intends to fulfill [JURIST report] his promise to close the Guantanamo detention facility before leaving office. Last November the US Senate passed [JURIST report] the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (NDAA), which prohibits Guantanamo detainees from being transferred into the US. Obama signed the bill into law, despite the fact that it could delay his plan to close the prison.