End 15 Years Of Injustice

Prisoners: Who's Still Held?

By Andy Worthington

779 prisoners have been held by the U.S. military at Guantánamo since the prison opened on January 11, 2002. Of those, 718 have been released or transferred, including one who was transferred to the U.S. to be tried, and nine have died, the most recent being Adnan Latif, in September 2012. 41 men are still held, and five of these men have been recommended for release by high-level governmental review processes. Ten men were released to Oman on Jan. 16, 2017, and four more men were released on Jan. 19, 2017, Obama's last day in office. They will be removed from the list very soon.

To join the campaign for the prison's closure in 2017, see the Countdown to Close Guantánamo, and the photos of celebrities and members of the public from around the world (also see here and the third set here, the fourth set here and the fifth set here).

192 of the 779 prisoners have been released under President Obama, and although no prisoners were released for 15 months from January 2011, two Uighur prisoners (Muslims from China's Xinjiang province) were released in April 2012, another man, Ibrahim al-Qosi, who was given a two-year sentence after a plea deal in July 2010, was released in July 2012, and in September 2012, Omar Khadr, a former child prisoner, was transferred to Canada to serve the rest of the sentence he negotiated as part of plea deal in October 2010.

In August 2013, following a promise to resume releasing prisoners that President Obama made in May, after the majority of the remaining prisoners had embarked on a hunger strike to remind the world of their plight, two Algerians -- cleared for release in January 2010 by the inter-agency Guantánamo Review Task Force that President Obama established when he took office in January 2009 -- were released, and in December 2013 two more Algerians were repatriated -- although these two men didn't want to go home -- and two Saudis were then released.

These releases were then followed by the repatriation of two Sudanese prisoners -- Noor Uthman Muhammed, as the result of a plea deal in February 2011, and Ibrahim Idris, who had been cleared for release by the task force, but whose eventual release was ordered by a judge after the Justice Department failed to contest his habeas corpus petition, accepting that he was severely mentally ill.

At the end of 2013, three more men were given new homes in Slovakia -- the last of the 22 Uighurs (Muslims from China's oppressed Xinjiang province) whose release into the U.S. had been ordered -- but then overturned -- by a judge in October 2008.

In March 2014, another Algerian -- Ahmed Belbacha -- was repatriated, and on May 31, 2014, five Taliban prisoners were released, in Qatar, and under supervision, in exchange for the release of the sole U.S. prisoner of war in Afghanistan, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held by the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network since 2009.

In November 2014, Fawzi al-Odah, one of the last two Kuwaitis in Guantánamo, was freed, and, also in November 2014, six more prisoners were released -- three Yemenis were given new homes in Georgia, a Yemeni and a Tunisian were resettled in Slovakia, and a Saudi was repatriated.

In December, six more men were released -- four Syrians, a Palestinian and a Tunisian -- who were accepted as refugees in Uruguay, and four Afghans were repatriated, and the very end of the year five more men -- two Tunisians and three Yemenis -- were given new homes in Kazakhstan.

In January 2015, another five men -- all Yemenis -- were resettled. Four of the men were sent to Oman, while the fifth was sent to Estonia, and in June 2015 another six Yemenis were resettled in Oman. In September 2015, a Moroccan was repatriated, and also a Saudi, who was a long-term hunger striker, and at the end of October a Mauritanian was repatriated, and Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, was released and returned to the U.K. On November 13, five Yemenis were released, and given new homes in the United Arab Emirates.

As 2016 began, two Yemenis were released, and given new homes in Ghana, Fayiz al-Kandari, the last Kuwaiti in the prison, was released, as was a Saudi, and ten Yemenis were given new homes in Oman. On the eve of the seventh anniversary of President Obama's promise to close the prison within a year (on January 22), it was announced that two more men had been freed -- an Egyptian in Bosnia, and a Yemeni in Montenegro. In April, after over two months with no releases, two Libyans were given new homes in Senegal, and nine Yemenis were then rehoused in Saudi Arabia. In June, another Yemeni was given a new home in Montenegro, and in July three more men were freed -- one to Italy, and two to Serbia.

In August 2016, the largest single release under President Obama took place, when 15 men -- 12 Yemenis and three Afghans -- were released in the United Arab Emirates. Six of these men had been approved for release by Obama's task force in 2010, and nine others had been approved for release by Periodic Review Boards. In October, another release took place -- of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, torture victim and best-selling author, who had also been approved for release by a PRB, and in December another Yemeni approved for release by a PRB was freed in Cape Verde.

As 2017 began, President Obama released four more Yemeni prisoners -- to Saudi Arabia, also promising to release between 13 and 15 of the 19 men approved for release before he leaves office and the uncertainties of Donald Trump's presidency begin in earnest.

As noted above, 55 prisoners now remain in Guantánamo, although it is important to remember that five of these men, like the majority of the men released since 2013, were cleared for release in 2009 by President Obama's Guantánamo Review Task Force, and they are listed below. The identities of 56 men cleared for release by the task force were made available in a document released by the Department of Justice in a court case in September 2012, and this information is also included.

38 more men, recommended for ongoing detention by the task force, were cleared for release between January 2014 and December 2016 by Periodic Review Boards, convened to reassess the cases of those recommended by the task force for ongoing detention, or, in some cases, for prosecution. Two of them, Fawzi al-Odah and Muhammad al-Zahrani, were released in November 2014, a third was released in September 2015, a fourth in November 2015, three others in January 2016, two in April 2016, one in June 2016, another in July 2016, nine in August 2016, one more (Mohamedou Ould Slahi) in October, another in December and two more in January 2017, so 14 of these men are still held, making a total of 19 cleared prisoners in total who are still held.

On June 17, 2013, the Department of Justice, in response to a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request, finally released the "Final Dispositions" of the Guantánamo Review Task Force, revealing the identities of the 30 other cleared prisoners (all Yemenis, and all recommended for "conditional detention," because of security fears regarding their home country), as well as the identities of 33 men recommended for trials, and 46 others recommended for indefinite detention without charge or trial. These recommendations, which we discussed here, have been added to the list below.

In March 2014, we also added information about 25 men who had been recommended for prosecution by the task force in 2010, but in April 2013 had been determined to be eligible for Periodic Review Boards. We wrote about this here, based on a list obtained through FOIA legislation by Jason Leopold of Al-Jazeera. Please note that all the prisoners recommended for continued detention are also supposed to receive PRBs.

Please also note that the numbers before the men’s names are their ISN numbers (the “Internment Security Numbers” by which they are identified in Guantánamo).

  1. 027 Uthman, Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed (Yemen) Recommended for continued detention and possible transfer to detention in the U.S., but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in April 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in May 2016; also see: "The Seven Guantánamo Prisoners Whose Appeals Were Turned Down by the Supreme Court"
  2. 028 Al Alawi, Muaz (Yemen) Recommended for continued detention, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in September 2015, and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in October 2015; also see: "The Seven Guantánamo Prisoners Whose Appeals Were Turned Down by the Supreme Court," "Voices from the Hunger Strike in Guantánamo" and "War Is Over, Set Us Free, Say Guantánamo Prisoners; Judge Says No"
  3. 029 Al Ansi, Mohammed (Yemen) Recommended for continued detention and possible transfer to detention in the U.S., but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in February 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in March 2016
  4. 038 Al Yazidi, Ridah (Tunisia) Cleared for release
  5. 039 Al Bahlul, Ali Hamza (Yemen) Convicted pre-Obama, and given a life sentence, although that conviction was overturned on appeal; see "Ali Hamza Al-Bahlul, David Hicks and the Legal Collapse of the Military Commissions at Guantánamo"
  6. 063 Al Qahtani, Mohammed (Saudi Arabia) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in June 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in July 2016
  7. 128 Al Bihani, Ghaleb (Yemen) Recommended for continued detention by the task force, he was determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013; his review took place in April 2014 and he was approved for release in May 2014
  8. 242 Qasim, Khaled (Yemen) Recommended for continued detention, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in February 2015 but he was recommended for ongoing detention in March 2015
  9. 244 Nasir, Abdul Latif (Morocco) Recommended for continued detention, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in June 2016 and he was approved for release in July 2016
  10. 309 Abdal Sattar, Muieen (UAE) Cleared for release
  11. 434 Al Shamyri, Mustafa (Yemen) Recommended for continued detention, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in December 2015 and he was approved for release in January 2016
  12. 498 Haidel, Mohammed (Yemen) Cleared for release but held in "conditional detention"
  13. 508 Al Rabie, Salman (Yemen) Recommended for continued detention, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in July 2015 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in May 2016
  14. 522 Ismail, Yasin (Yemen) Recommended for continued detention and possible transfer to detention in the U.S., but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in February 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in March 2016
  15. 550 Zaid, Walid (Yemen) Cleared for release but held in "conditional detention"
  16. 560 Mohammed, Haji Wali (Afghanistan) Recommended for continued detention and possible transfer to detention in the U.S., but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in August 2016 and he was approved for release in October 2016
  17. 569 Al Shorabi, Zohair (Yemen) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in March 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in March 2016
  18. 682 Al Sharbi, Ghassan (Saudi Arabia) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in June 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in July 2016
  19. 685 Ali, Abdelrazak (aka Saeed Bakhouche) (Algeria) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in May 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing detention in July 2016
  20. 694 Barhoumi, Sufyian (Algeria) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in May 2016 and he was approved for release in August 2016
  21. 696 Al Qahtani, Jabran (Saudi Arabia) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in May 2016 and he was approved for release (although possibly to face prosecution back home) in November 2016
  22. 702 Mingazov, Ravil (Russia) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in June 2016 and he was approved for release in July 2016
  23. 708 Al Bakush, Ismael (Libya) Recommended for continued detention, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in July 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in August 2016
  24. 753 Zahir, Abdul (Afghanistan) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in June 2016, and he was approved for release in July 2016; also see: "Prisoners in Guantánamo Ask to be Freed Because of the End of the War in Afghanistan"
  25. 768 Al Darbi, Ahmed Mohammed (Saudi Arabia) Recommended for prosecution by the task force, he was charged and accepted a plea deal in February 2014, even though he had been determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013
  26. 839 Al Madhwani, Musa’ab (Yemen) Recommended for continued detention, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in June 2016 and he was approved for release in July 2016; also see: "The Seven Guantánamo Prisoners Whose Appeals Were Turned Down by the Supreme Court" and the PRB's recommendation for release in the case of Ayoub Saleh (ISN 836), captured at the same time
  27. 840 Al Maythali, Hail Aziz Ahmed (Yemen) Recommended for continued detention, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in June 2016 and he was approved for release in August 2016; also see the PRB's recommendation for release in the case of Ayoub Saleh (ISN 836), captured at the same time
  28. 841 Nashir, Said Salih Said (Yemen) Recommended for continued detention, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in April 2016, and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in November 2016; also see the PRB's recommendation for release in the case of Ayoub Saleh (ISN 836), captured at the same time
  29. 893 Al Bihani, Tawfiq (Saudi Arabia) Cleared for release but held in "conditional detention"; also see: "The Seven Guantánamo Prisoners Whose Appeals Were Turned Down by the Supreme Court"
  30. 975 Karim, Bostan (Afghanistan) Recommended for continued detention and possible transfer to detention in the U.S., but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in May 2016 and he was approved for release in June 2016; also see: "Prisoners in Guantánamo Ask to be Freed Because of the End of the War in Afghanistan"
  31. 1017 Al Rammah, Omar (Zakaria al-Baidany) (Yemen) Recommended for continued detention and possible transfer to detention in the U.S., but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in July 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in August 2016
  32. 1094 Paracha, Saifullah (Pakistan) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place on March 8, 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in April 2016
  33. 1453 Al Kazimi, Sanad (Yemen) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in May 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in June 2016
  34. 1456 Bin Attash, Hassan (Saudi Arabia) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in September 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in October 2016
  35. 1457 Sharqawi, Abdu Ali (Yemen) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in March 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in April 2016
  36. 1460 Rabbani, Abdul Rahim Ghulam (Pakistan) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in July 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in August 2016
  37. 1461 Rabbani, Mohammed Ghulam (Ahmed Rabbani) (Pakistan) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in September 2016, and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in October 2016
  38. 1463 Al Hela, Abdulsalam (Yemen) Recommended for continued detention and possible transfer to detention in the U.S., but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in May 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in June 2016
  39. 10011 Al Hawsawi, Mustafa (Saudi Arabia) Recommended for prosecution, he was charged and pre-trial hearings are underway
  40. 10013 Bin Al Shibh, Ramzi (Yemen) Recommended for prosecution, he was charged and pre-trial hearings are underway
  41. 10014 Bin Attash, Waleed (Saudi Arabia) Recommended for prosecution, he was charged and pre-trial hearings are underway
  42. 10015 Al Nashiri, Abd Al Rahim (Saudi Arabia) Recommended for prosecution, he was charged and pre-trial hearings are underway
  43. 10016 Zubaydah, Abu (Palestine-Saudi Arabia) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in August 2016
  44. 10017 Al Libi, Abu Faraj (Libya) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in August 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in September 2016
  45. 10018 Al Baluchi, Ammar (Ali Abd Al Aziz Ali) (Pakistan-Kuwait) Recommended for prosecution, he was charged and pre-trial hearings are underway
  46. 10019 Isamuddin, Riduan (Hambali) (Indonesia) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in August 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in September 2016
  47. 10020 Khan, Majid (Pakistan) Recommended for prosecution, he accepted a plea deal in February 2012, although his sentencing has still not taken place
  48. 10021 Bin Amin, Modh Farik (Zubair) (Malaysia) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in August 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in September 2016
  49. 10022 Bin Lep, Mohammed (Lillie) (Malaysia) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in August 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in September 2016
  50. 10023 Dourad, Gouled Hassan (Somalia) Recommended for continued detention and possible transfer to detention in the U.S., but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in August 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in September 2016
  51. 10024 Mohammed, Khalid Sheikh (Pakistan-Kuwait) Recommended for prosecution, he was charged and pre-trial hearings are underway
  52. 10025 Malik, Mohammed Abdul (Mohammed Abdul Malik Bajabu) (Kenya) Recommended for continued detention, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in May 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in June 2016
  53. 10026 Al Iraqi, Abd Al Hadi (Iraq) Recommended for prosecution and charged, even though he had been determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013
  54. 3148 Al Afghani, Haroon (Afghanistan) Recommended for prosecution by the task force in January 2010, but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in June 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in July 2016
  55. 10029 Rahim, Muhammad (Afghanistan) Recommended for continued detention and possible transfer to detention in the U.S., but determined to be eligible for a Periodic Review Board in April 2013, his review took place in August 2016 and he was recommended for ongoing imprisonment in September 2016