Mustafa al-Shamiri to be released from Guantanamo Bay after wrongful detention

A Yemeni man, Mustafa al-Shamiri, detained at Guantanamo Bay detention camp for 13 years, is preparing for his freedom.

The Pentagon announced al-Shamiri’s impending release and admitted his imprisonment was the result of mistaken identity.

Held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002 and once thought to be a senior al-Qaeda instructor in Afghanistan, al-Shamiri, as it turns out, is a hackneyed foot soldier.

The conclusions as to his true identity were established by the Periodic Review Board (PRB), a panel which determines an inmate’s suitability for release, and declared al-Shamiri had been interned at the Cuban prison erroneously.

The PBR concluded:

“The most of the derogatory prior assessments … have been discredited and the current information shows that the detainee has low level military capability.”    

Al-Shamiri will join two others who were released earlier this week. Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed al-Sawah, an Egyptian, has been moved to Bosnia; Abd al-Aziz Abduh Abdallah Ali al-Suwaydi, a fellow Yemeni, was placed in Monte­negro. 

Strangely, third man, Mohammed Bwazir, another Yemeni, has declined to leave the detention facility for personal reasons.  Declaring he would leave for a destination which included family, he has curiously remained at the prison.

“He’s been in Guantánamo so long that he was terrified about going to a country other than one where he had family,” his attorney, John Chandler told the Miami Herald.


A one-size-fits-all mold led to this delay in justice.

Even if the deductive reasoning of the Bush Administration was to hold all combatants snatched in the field of combat operations for an indeterminate amount of time was justified as part of the broader War on Terror, this man should not have languished at Guantanamo until this week.

Let’s specify up front:  Few, if any, prisoners held at Guantanamo are truly innocent.  Each man held at the detention center has contributed in some form and at some level to an assault on America or Americans.

One could reason prisoners, regardless of seniority, were kept at Guantanamo because they were considered a source of intelligence and American officials pinned hopes of gathering valuable military information to the length their detainment.

Unlike the blood-drenched lecher, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has found a permanent home in Guantanamo for his crimes of inhumanity, it is fairly safe to admit Mr. al-Shamiri’s usefulness has expired and his freedom should be granted.

While this man’s lengthy captivity is no assault on truth, justice and fairness and it should not be considered a moral abomination, in the present time his release can reverse a minor corruption of justice and reduce public scorn and scrutiny.


[RT News] [Miamiherald] [Photo courtesy NYDailyNews]