Not Everyone Wants Out of Gitmo

View of Monte Cara in Cape Verde. | <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mindelo-MontCara2000.jpg">Wikimedia Commons</a>.

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When you create a prison camp that exists outside the realm of normal law, weird things happen. Many of the detainees in Guantanamo Bay want to get home to their families (or their Al Qaeda buddies, in some cases). But around 50 of them are probably going to live out the rest of their natural lives in detention without ever facing trial. And some of them, it turns out, are going to be sent home against their will:

Aziz Abdul Naji, 35, an Algerian who had been held at Guantanamo for more than eight years, had appealed to the US Supreme Court to remain at the military detention center in Cuba. He argued that he would be tortured or killed in Algeria, either by the government or by terrorist groups that might try to recruit him.

In a unanimous decision, the justices declined late Friday to hear Naji’s appeal, and the Defense Department announced Monday that he had been repatriated.

All six of the Algerians in Gitmo don’t want to be sent back, but the Naji decision and another similar ruling make it almost certain that they will be.

In a separate case, Abd-al-Nisr Mohammed Khantumani, a Syrian brought to Guantanamo Bay in 2002, was released to the island nation of Cape Verde (pictured above) recently. 

Now that Khantumani and Naji have been released, 178 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay, including 95 whom President Obama’s detainee task force determined should be released.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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