After 21 years of detention, the United States returns a Saudi man from Guantanamo to his country

The US Department of Defense announced the return of Saudi prisoner Ghassan Al-Sharbi from Guantanamo Bay to his country, after he was assessed that he no longer poses a threat to the national security of the United States.

The Defense Ministry said the repatriation of the 48-year-old Saudi national was “subject to the implementation of a comprehensive set of security measures, including monitoring, travel restrictions and continued information sharing”.

According to Human Rights Watch, Al-Sharbi was arrested on March 28, 2002 in Faisalabad, Pakistan. Three months later, he was taken to Guantanamo, The New York Times reported.

On its part, the Ministry of Defense, there are 31 inmates left at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after nearly 800 detainees were held there.

The detention facility was established after the attacks of September 11, 2001, under the government of former Republican President George W. Bush.

Human rights organizations have long called for the closure of that prison, and described the practices taking place in it as serious violations of human rights.

Al-Sharbi, an engineer, was suspected of making bombs for al-Qaeda. He was never convicted, according to The New York Times.

However, Al-Sharbi was of particular interest to the United States because he took flying lessons in Phoenix, Arizona, with two of the 9/11 hijackers.

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