MPs push for release of Kuwaitis in Guantanamo

September 6, 2012
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Kuwaiti lawmakers have urged the country’s Emir to use his visit to the US to press for the repatriation of the last two Kuwaitis held at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah is currently on a private visit to the US, but the lawmakers urged him to talk with the US administration about allowing Fawzi Al Odah and Fayez Al Kandari, who have been detained at the camp for more than a decade, to go home.

“The Emir’s visit to the US is an opportunity to exert pressure to release Al Odah and Al Kandari,” MP Mohammad Al Hayef said. “They have been detained for too long without trial and this is of paramount arbitrariness and contempt.”

For MP Waleed Al Tabtabai, the visit should spell the end of the suffering by the two detainees and their families.

“I do hope that HH the Amir would press the US Administration to release them and put an end to their long suffering and to the pain caused to their families,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

Ammar Al Ajmi said that there was high hope that the visit would result in the release of Al Odah and Al Kandari.

“We hope that the efforts by the government to help secure the release of the two Kuwaiti detainees would be crowned by their freedom during the private visit of the Amir,” Mohammad Al Dallal, a member of the 2012 parliament, wrote on the microblog.

In March, the Kuwaiti Parliament condemned “the continued detention of the last two Kuwaiti prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.”

The Parliament is “deeply disturbed that for over 10 years… they are yet to be given a fair trial,” the statement said, Kuwaiti media reported. They “have endured torture, hardship, deprivation and all forms of dehumanisation and still the US Government continues to ignore their fundamental rights to fair trial, justice and liberty.”

In June, a Kuwaiti delegation held talks with US officials seeking the return of the two detainees.

The Kuwaiti embassy in Washington is “diligently pursuing efforts with relevant US authorities for the release of Al Kandari and Al Odah,” Shaikh Salem Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah, Kuwait’s ambassador to the US, told Kuwait News Agency (Kuna).

However, “a technical procedure” related to the laws of the US Department of Defence seemed to stall the procedures.

“There are a great number of obstacles and this will be a lengthy and difficult process,” a senior US official was quoted as saying. “We are aware that they want them back. Because of legal restrictions and our own view of these people, this will be a protracted and difficult process.”

Al Kandari, 37, was charged in 2008 with conspiring with Al Qaida and providing material support for terrorism.

The charges alleged that he was “an adviser to Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan,” that he “produced recruitment audio and video tapes which encouraged membership in Al Qaida and participation in jihad” and that he “provided instruction to Al Qaida members and trainees.”

The charges that were never referred for trial were dismissed in June without explanation.

Al Odah, 34, has not been charged in any court with wrongdoing. His family pressing for his release said that he has not been referred to a military commission for trial during the ten years he has been at Guantanamo Bay.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/kuwait/mps-push-for-release-of-kuwaitis-in-guantanamo-1.1069041

         

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About the author

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

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