Kuwait calls for repatriation of Guantanamo prisoners

February 18, 2011

The Kuwaiti government has submitted an official request to US President Barak Obama for the release of Kuwaiti citizens Fayez Al Kandari and Fawzi Al Oudah from the Guantanamo Bay detention centre, a local daily reported on Monday.

Kuwait made the move after it fulfilled all conditions by the US administration for the detainees’ release, Kuwait Times said.

Lieutenant Colonel Barry Wingard and Lieutenant Commander Kevin Bogucki, Al Kandari’s attorneys, informed Kuwaiti daily Al Qabas about the formal request during a visit to Kuwait in which they met Shaikh Jaber Al Khalid Al Sabah, the then-interior minister.

Shaikh Jaber, who resigned last month amid reports about the death under torture of a Kuwaiti national in the custody of the police, in January denied allegations that he had asked Deborah Jones, the US Ambassador to Kuwait, to ensure that the detainees were not returned to Kuwait.

Lt. Col. Wingard said he also met during the ten-day visit Rashid Al Hamad, the justice minister and deputy prime minister for legal affairs, Khalid Al Jarallah, the foreign ministry undersecretary, and US embassy officials.

According to the daily, the attorney said that the all the officials he met assured him that coordination is ongoing at the highest levels to ensure that either the Kuwaiti detainees are returned as soon as possible or that they are given a fair trial.

Lt. Cmdr. Bogucki said that the Kuwaiti government’s pressure on the US administration was a “huge step forward” in achieving the return of the Kuwaiti detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

The attorney said he hoped human rights watchdog Human Rights Watch would intervene in this case to end the longstanding impasse that has now persisted for over a decade.

Kuwaiti Foreign Affairs Minister Shaikh Mohammad Al Sabah and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, scheduled to meet soon, might discuss practical ways to end the critical situation, the attorney said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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