Half of Gitmo’s Uncharged Detainees Cleared for Release

Approved for Release, 33 Remain Held Indefinitely

In addition to the 10 detainees actually charged with something, Guantanamo Bay continues to hold some 66 detainees totally uncharged with any crime. These detainees have been held for years, many over a decade, and many for no real reason.

Musab Omar Ali al-Madhwani, a 36-year-old who arrived at Guantanamo Bay some 14 years ago, didn’t do anything. Captured during raids targeting foreigners in Karachi, Pakistan, the Pentagon assumed him to be part of a six person al-Qaeda cell in Karachi, so named because they caught six people. Lacking evidence, officials eventually dialed back their accusations, and a parole board finally cleared him for release this week.

Madhwani is the 33rd of the 66 uncharged men that has been approved to be released, though when and even if these 33 will actually be let go remains uncertain, with heavy restrictions even on the release of innocent men from the detention center making every release a protracted and heavily politicized battle.

Ultimately, the number is more likely to go up than down, with 17 more uncharged detainees facing parole hearings, and a lot less difficulty in getting someone approved for release than there is in getting someone already approved for release actually out of detention.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.