A Kuwaiti national held at Guantanamo Bay for nearly 14 years was released to his home country Friday after the U.S. government ruled he was no longer a threat to U.S. security. Faez Mohammed Ahmed Al-Kandari was captured by U.S. forces in 2002 and accused of recruiting personnel to receive weapons training in Afghanistan.
Al-Kandari continued to deny the accusations until his release, which was approved by the Guantanamo Periodic Review Board in September last year, according to a U.S. Department of Defense press release Friday. Al-Kandari was never convicted of any crime and all charges against him were dropped last year.
It’s also alleged by Al-Kandari that he was subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques, such as sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation and physical abuse.
#BREAKING Guantanamo Bay detainee transferred to Kuwait: Pentagon
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) January 8, 2016
Al-Kandari’s release comes just a day after two Yemeni nationals were transferred from the U.S. base to Ghana, the first time the West African country has taken prisoners from the detention facility.
Khalid al-Dhuby and Mahmoud Omar Bin Atef have both spent more than a decade behind bars without being charged, and were both approved for release in 2006 and 2009, respectively, according to a BBC report.
The detention center at Guantanamo Bay was set up in January 2002 following the Sept. 11 attacks and the invasion of Afghanistan just a month later. In all, more than 770 men have been taken to the camp, which is in the eastern tip of Cuba, for review of their possible role as enemy combatants. Eight detainees have died while in detention.
U.S. President Barack Obama, whose final term in office ends January 2017, had promised to shut the camp before he left office, but strong opposition from the Republican-held Congress has made it difficult.
After Al-Kandari’s release, 104 detainees remain at the camp, according to government records.