US repatriates former Guantánamo Bay detainee after 5 year delay
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US repatriates former Guantánamo Bay detainee after 5 year delay

The US Department of Defense Saturday announced the repatriation of an Algerian citizen detained at Guantánamo Bay. This repatriation follows a five year delay from a hold by former President Trump on all detainee transfers from Guantánamo Bay.

Sufiyan Barhoumi has been detained since 2002. He was captured in Pakistan following US military interventions in the country. He was transferred to Guantánamo Bay shortly thereafter, but never faced trial. He became eligible for transfer in 2011, and he was scheduled to be transferred in the last weeks of the Obama administration. However, when Trump took office, there was an effective block on detainee transfers. This delayed Barhoumi’s repatriation by over five years.

In its press release, the Department of Defense indicated the eventual closing of Guantánamo Bay, stating: “The United States appreciates the willingness of Algeria, and other partners to support ongoing U.S. efforts toward a deliberate and thorough process focused on responsibly reducing the detainee population and ultimately closing of the Guantánamo Bay facility.”

There are still 37 individuals detained at Guantánamo Bay. Over half of those individuals are eligible for transfer, and all but two are eligible to be released in some form.