Legal advocacy group and SRT grantee Reprieve has successfully advocated for two clients, Asadullah Haroon Gul and Saifullah Paracha, to be cleared for release from the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. Asadullah Haroon and Paracha were cleared after 14 and 18 years locked up without charge or trial. Paracha is one of the oldest of the detainees and his clearance was originally announced in May.
A Periodic Review Board comprised of senior officials from six U.S. agencies unanimously concluded that they do not pose a threat to the United States and that they can therefore be released.
This marks a major milestone for both Asadullah Haroon and Paracha, but both are still being held in Guantánamo. Despite being cleared for release, they have no indication of when they will be released and reunited with their families.
The clearance comes a few months after Reprieve successfully fought for the release of another client, Abdul Latif Nasser, from the facility after nearly two decades of detention without charge or trial. Nasser was cleared in 2016, but did not leave the facility until 2021. The Reprieve team is working hard to expedite Asadullah Haroon and Paracha’s transfers.
A press release from Reprieve quoted Asadullah Haroon’s lawyer Tara Plochocki, who said, “The recommendation is a helpful first step, but the United States now needs to act on it, which they have failed to do with respect to many other detainees who have been cleared by the PRB but who continue to languish in cells in Guantanamo.”
Following their release, Asadullah Haroon will receive support from Reprieve’s ‘‘Life After Guantánamo’ programme, which helps detainees transition into new lives after years of detention without trial and torture. Launched in 2009, ‘Life after Guantánamo’ works to ensures that former detainees are supported in accessing to torture rehabilitation services, specialized medical care, housing, secure legal status, and the labour market/vocational training. After release, former detainees are often forced to resettle in new countries, separated from their families and valuable social support networks. Reprieve leverages the close relationships it builds with its clients and partners on the ground to ensure the men have access to vital services as they begin to rebuild their lives.
Reprieve will continue to fight to shut down the facility and obtain justice for detainees and their families.
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