The US Department of Defense announced Thursday the transfer of Guantánamo prisoner and Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) client Fahd Ghazy to Oman. Ghazy was only 17 when he was brought to Guantánamo in February 2002.
Ghazy was never charged with a crime and had been cleared for release since 2007.
“Almost 14 years ago to the day, Fahd arrived at Guantánamo as a boy, shackled and hooded. Today – finally – he is free. I commend Oman for the profound humanitarian gesture of welcoming Fahd and offering him a new home,” said Mr. Ghazy’s attorney, Omar Farah of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
“There was never much doubt that Fahd’s imprisonment was unnecessary – he was cleared for release nearly a decade ago – yet he grew up at Guantánamo waiting for successive presidents to correct a glaring injustice. While Fahd and his family look to the future, I cannot help but reflect on how cruel his detention was and marvel at how Fahd preserved his humanity throughout.”
Ghazy was one of the last men to have been detained at Guantánamo as a juvenile. He filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in 2006 and withdrew it in 2009, shortly before President Obama cleared him for the second time. The story of Mr. Ghazy’s anguish and resilience is told through moving interviews with his family in the short film Waiting for Fahd: One Family’s Hope for Life Beyond Guantánamo. Ghazy also shared a personal message to the film’s audience.
On January 11, 2016, Guantánamo entered its 15th year in operation. CCR attorneys say it is imperative that the president step up the pace of transfers and review boards and ensure and end to bureaucratic inaction within the Pentagon. They emphasize that the prison at Guantánamo must be emptied and closed, and note that several CCR clients – among them Tariq Ba Odah, Ghaleb Nasser Al-Bihani, Muhammadi Davliatov, Mohammed Al-Hamiri, and Mohammed Kamin – remain imprisoned without charge.
As of January 31, 2016, Guantánamo will have been open longer under President Obama than it was under President Bush.