Moroccan Abdul Latif Nasir Becomes First Guantanamo Bay Detainee Pentagon Repatriated

The US Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Abdul Latif Nasir from the US military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the Kingdom of Morocco, the first step toward a complete shutdown of the controversial facility long pledged by Democratic administrations.

The Pentagon conveyed US praise for the Kingdom of Morocco for its long-time partnership in securing both countries’ national security interests and expressed gratitude for the Kingdom’s support for ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Nasir is a former Taliban fighter who battled the US forces in the Tora Bora mountains in late 2001. He was repatriated early Monday to Moroccan government custody after a review board determined in 2016 that his detention at Guantanamo Bay no longer remains necessary and recommending his repatriation to Morocco.

Guantanamo detention camp, that today holds 39 detainees, was established in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in 2002, by former President George W. Bush and has been criticized for human rights abuses, extrajudicial detentions and inhumane treatment of prisoners.

Despite all the criticism, former President Donald Trump, who said that there should be no further releases from Gitmo even before he took office, ordered in 2018 the Guantanamo Bay prison to remain open, repealing part of an executive order signed by former President Barack Obama in 2009 that called for the prison to cease operation.

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