Sunday, November 05, 2006

Guantanamo detainees -- a partial followup

It is not widely reported, but the "detainees" (don't you love that word? Why not just call them what they are: political prisoners?) at Guantanamo are being released, a few at a time, back to their respective countries. I don't know the details, but I remember reading about a group or two that have been returned to Saudi Arabia for repatriation and re-education.

This report from Asharq Al Awsat, English language newspaper from KSA, is interesting. It seems a group of these men were released to spend Ramadan with their families, and all but one of them returned themselves to prison. (One is still in the hospital following injuries sustained in a traffic accident.)

The Saudi Ministry of Interior returned 28 of the 29 former detainees of Guantanamo Bay for the temporary period of 38 days on Tuesday. This came as a result of the new initiative adopted by the Saudi Ministry of Interior on September 21 in which the ministry negotiated a framework agreement that would enable the detainees to spend the month of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr with their families in Saudi Arabia. Security investigators are currently expected to resume their investigations and questioning.

The initiative was implemented under the directives and supervision of Saudi Interior Minister, Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz. One of the detainees is currently being held in hospital to receive treatment for injuries and a pelvic fracture, which requires a short hospital stay, after being involved in a traffic accident. The hospital expenses and damages for the vehicle he was driving during the accident are being covered by the Ministry of Interior.

Fahd Bin Mohammed al Subaey told Asharq Al-Awsat, “The detainees were returned to prison last Monday after the Ministry of Interior allowed 29 prisoners to spend Ramadan outside confinement.” He added that the temporary release came after “the positive results witnessed by the authorities after granting detainees a one-week release period upon bail from Guantanamo Bay.”

Thanks to John Burgess for the link. As he commented, "...some feared that they would run away and become involved in terrorism again. According to the Asharq Alawsat piece, that wasn't the case."

Indeed. Lots of what has been dished out about Gitmo hasn't been the case. Makes me want to sneer as I think about it.

1 comment:

John Burgess said...

I don't read the Asharq Alawsat piece as saying these guys didn't earn their places in Guantanamo. Rather, that they are now under arrest or supervised release in the KSA. The Saudis haven't given them a clean bill of health and have conducted their own investigations.

This, I think, is an expression of the way the Saudis try to deal with their home-grown terrorists: try to convince them that there are better ways to make their point; that their understanding of religion is woefully inadequate; and that they've been led into a fantasy by the recruiters. So far, their method (which I've cited several times over the past couple of years) seems to be working.

All it will take, though, is one recidivist to overturn the social experiement.