Mohamedou Ould Slahi approved for release!
Dear friends and supporters,
As we count down to the end of the Obama presidency, we continue to hope that President Obama can find some way to close Guantánamo before he leaves office, although we are not hopeful, given the implacable opposition of Congress.
Nevertheless, we are reassured that serious efforts to work towards the closure of the prison are being made, in particular through the ongoing release of prisoners
, and also through the Periodic Review Boards that are reviewing the cases of all the prisoners not facing trials and not already approved for release by the high-level government task force that last reviewed the prisoners’ cases in 2009.
In the two years and eight months since the PRBs began, in November 2013, 30 men have been approved for release, and just 14 have had their detention upheld. Ten cases have yet to be decided, and ten reviews have yet to take place. The success rate for the prisoners -- 68% -- is remarkable, though, given that, when the task force reviewed their cases, they were regarded as “too dangerous to release,” or were recommended for prosecution.
The 29th prisoner to be approved for release was Mohamedou Ould Slahi, torture victim and best-selling author, of the searingly powerful memoir, Guantánamo Diary. Close Guantánamo co-founder Andy Worthington wrote about the decision in a celebratory article last week entitled, Finally! Torture Victim and Best-Selling Author Mohamedou Ould Slahi Approved for Release from Guantánamo
We hope you have time to read it, if you haven’t already, and to share it if you find it useful. Please also note that Andy has since written about the 30th prisoner to be approved for release, Ravil Mingazov, the last Russian in the prison, on his website
For full details of the PRBs, please see our definitive Periodic review Board list
, which Andy first compiled in November, and has been updating regularly since. And also see our definitive prisoner list
, also regularly updated.
While we will continue to report on the PRBs, we are also continuing our Countdown to Close Guantánamo
, launched in January
, which reaches its next stage on Aug. 22, when President Obama will have just 150 days left to close Guantánamo. Please print off a poster
reminding him that he has just 150 days left, take a photo with it and send it to us (at email@example.com) for Aug. 22. We are delighted that you have, to date, sent in over 400 photos for the website and for social media, and we look forward to seeing more over the next month.
With thanks, as ever, for your support.
The "Close Guantánamo" team
P.S. Please, if you will, also ask your friends and family to join us
-- just an email address is required to be counted amongst those opposed to the ongoing existence of Guantánamo, and to receive updates of our activities by email. Please also note that we can be found on Twitter here
and on Facebook here