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Guantanamo Bay review board to hold hearing on Khalid Ahmed Qasim

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Guantanamo Bay review board to hold hearing on Khalid Ahmed Qasim

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The Periodic Review Board (PRB) of the US government’s Guantanamo Bay military prison will today conduct a hearing on the detention of inmate Khalid Ahmed Qasim. 

Qasim has been imprisoned at Guantanamo since May 2002. The US Department of Defense has labelled him a terrorist, accusing him of having had ties to the Taliban and al Qaeda. Between 2015 and 2019, Qasim’s detention file has been reviewed nine times by the PRB.

The military prison at Guantanamo Bay was first established in 2002 and has detained a total of 780 men. As of September 2021, 39 remain. Only one prisoner has been released during the Biden administration.

It is unlikely that the PRB will recommend Qasim’s release today, despite his almost 20 years of imprisonment. For Qasim and other long-time detainees the best hope for release is successful political pressure to close the facility. Although Biden has promised to permanently close Guantanamo before the end of his presidency he is likely to face considerable opposition in the short- to medium-term—from both congressional Republicans and some Democrats—to keep it open in light of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and the resurgence of ISIS-K.   

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