Washington: The first transfer of a detainee in Gunatanamo Bay under US President Joe Biden's administration has taken place. The detainee of Moroccan nationality got his release nearly 20 years after he was incarcerated at the military detention facility, the Department of Defence (DoD) announced.
The DoD's statement said: "In 2016, the Periodic Review Board (PRB) process determined that law of war detention of Abdul Latif Nasir no longer remained necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the national security of the US.
"Therefore, the PRB recommended that Nasir be authorised for repatriation to his native country of Morocco, subject to security and humane treatment assurances.
"The steps necessary to effectuate the repatriation were unable to be completed prior to the end of the (former President Barack) Obama administration."
According to the DoD, the PRB process was established on March 7, 2011.
The administration of former President Donald Trump affirmed the PRB process in January 2018, but did not complete the repatriation, it added.
The statement further said that the US commends Morocco for its "long-time partnership in securing both countries' national security interests".
"The US is also extremely grateful for the Kingdom's willingness to support ongoing efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility."
It was not immediately clear whether he would be detained or released in Morocco, the US officials referred reporters to the government of Morocco for more information.
After Nasir's transfer, 39 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay, with 10 eligible for transfer who have already been approved by the PRB, 17 eligible for the PRB, 10 involved in the military commission process and two have been convicted.
About 800 detainees have passed through the cells of Gunatannamo Bay since the prison camps opened in 2002, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
In addition to unlawful detention, many were subjected to torture and other brutal treatment.
The detention camps in the Guantanamo Bay were set up purportedly to hold potential terror suspects under detention as a pre-emptive measure without the obligation to put them on trial, and the practice had drawn flak from rights advocates around the world, even within the United States. One of the first announcements made by Barack Obama when he assumed office in 2009 was that he would close the camp, but that did not materialise as announced.
Ever since then, prisoners were released in trickles after procedures prescribed by the DoD. Nasir's is the first case under the Biden regime.
(With inputs from IANS)