17:57 GMT12 June 2021
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    Human Rights First advocacy group said that the Periodic Review Board working under the US Department of Defense has cleared a former al-Qaeda affiliate member to be transferred from the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Periodic Review Board working under the US Department of Defense has cleared a former al-Qaeda affiliate member to be transferred from the Guantanamo Bay detention center, according to a US advocacy group press release on Tuesday.

    "Human Rights First today praises reports that the Periodic Review Board has cleared Guantanamo detainee Abdul Rahman Ahmed for transfer," the press release stated.

    The advocacy group also urged the Obama administration to step up its efforts to transfer already cleared prisoners and close down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

    "President Obama has repeatedly stated that he intends to close Guantanamo Bay but, frankly, he’s not doing what it takes to get the job done," Human Rights First’s Senior Counsel Raha Wala said.

    Abdul Rahman Ahmed was sent to the Guantanamo Bay detention center in February 2012 as he was alleged to be a low-level fighter aligned with the al-Qaeda terrorist group, according to the Defense Department.

    The Periodic Review Board profile for the detainee reveals, however, that it is "unclear whether he actually joined that group."

    Ahmed has said he would prefer not to return to his country Yemen, where his family still lives, because of lack of economic opportunities and potential pressure to rejoin terrorist groups, according to the Periodic Review Board documents released in July.

    At present, there are 112 detainees at the Guantanamo detention facility, 52 of whom are cleared for transfer, according to Human Rights First.


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