US Drops Opposition, Will Allow Judge to Release Gitmo Detainee

Cleared for Release in 2009, Lawyers Seek His Release on Deteriorating Health

Long-standing Guantanamo Bay detainee Ibrahim Othman Ibrahim Idris may soon be released, after the Justice Department has abandoned its legal challenge to efforts to get him freed because of his failing physical and mental health.

Idris was captured during the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, and transferred to Guantanamo in 2002, at which time he was diagnosed with severe mental health problems and later schizophrenia. He was reportedly a medical doctor for al-Qaeda.

12 years later he’s in even worse health, with heart problems and diabetes, and his mental state has gotten worse and worse, to the point that he’s not even theoretically a threat. He was cleared for release in 2009, but like everyone else, he was never actually let go.

It’s unclear what would happen of Idris is released, but it is seen as unlikely that he would be returned to Sudan, which doesn’t have a health care system capable of taking care of him.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of