U.S. Sends Home Brothers Held for Nearly 20 Years at Guantánamo Bay – Carol Rosenberg 2/23/23

Source: NYTimes.com

The latest release, of two Pakistanis never charged with a crime, reduced the detainee population of the once-sprawling prison complex to 32.

The U.S. military released two brothers on Thursday who had been held as detainees in the war against terrorism for helping to operate safe houses where suspected operatives of Al Qaeda holed up after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The Pentagon said that Mohammed Ahmed Ghulam Rabbani, 53, and Abdul Rahim Ghulam Rabbani, 55, who were never charged with any crimes during 20 years in U.S. custody, were flown to Pakistan in an arrangement with authorities there.

The brothers were captured by Pakistan’s security services in Karachi in September 2002. They arrived at Guantánamo Bay in 2004 after being kept at a C.I.A.-run detention site in Afghanistan for about 550 days.

They were approved for transfer in 2021. It is unclear why they had remained in prison. In the interim, the Pentagon released two other Pakistani prisoners. Saifullah Paracha, 75, was repatriated in October. Majid Khan, 42, was freed in Belize under a resettlement agreement this month.

The younger Mr. Rabbani, who goes by Ahmed, had distinguished himself at Guantánamo as both a prolific artist and a determined hunger striker who survived on nutritional supplements, sometimes forcibly fed to him through a tube….

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