Two Syrian Detainees at Guantanamo Freed in Portugal

Two Syrian detainees at Guantanamo have arrived in Portugal and are now free.

The U.S. has not released their names. In June, a federal judge ordered the release of Syrian detainee Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak al-Janko. The court's opinion is here (pdf.)

Al-Janko was first captured by al-Qaeda who tortured him, causing him to falsely confess he was an American spy. Then he was imprisoned by the Taliban who thought he really was an American spy. The Taliban abandoned the prison where al-Janko was being held but left him there. The Americans found him, imprisoned him in Kandahar and sent him to Guantanamo where he has remained for 7 years. Hopefully, he's one of those released to Portugal and freed.


Here's a list of other Syrians who have been held at Gitmo.

226 are left at Guantanamo:

Out of the remaining 226 prisoners at Guantanamo, more than 10 are awaiting release after US federal courts ruled they were innocent of any wrongdoing. Most are waiting for a third country to take them in.

Of the 35 cases in which federal judges have completed their reviews, 29 of the detainees have been ordered released.

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    Oh, my lord. (none / 0) (#1)
    by shoephone on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 12:00:21 AM EST
    I can't believe al-Janko is still alive! One has to wonder, is he still sane? After all the torture and imprisonment he has suffered, it will be a miracle if he can talk straight. We know that other prisoners have been made insane.

    This is the stuff that makes my blood boil. Bush and Cheney oversaw all of this. The sketchy detentions, the secret renditions, the false imprisonment, the unabating torture. How I wish Cheney, in particular, would be taken to the Hague and brought up on charges. Instead, he will enjoy his upcoming book tour, courtesy of our current president, who thinks "it's time to look forward" rather than hold the most heinous war criminals accountable.

    And al-Janko wouldn't lie...would he? (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 07:13:44 AM EST
    Even if Justice Department lawyers had made their case, the judge said, it was clear from Janko's harrowing story and abandonment by the Taliban that any "pre-existing relationship had been utterly destroyed" by late 2001.

    the judge said (5.00 / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 11:30:54 AM EST
    the government's theory defied common sense. The judge wrote the pre-existing relationship didn't amount to anything from which it could be inferred he was an enemy combatent.

    just a reminder not to reprint (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 11:31:29 AM EST
    entire articles in comments. Please link and quote a paragraph or so to make your point.

    The unanswered question (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 01:44:11 PM EST
    that may or may not have been answered in the classified portion we have not seen is why he went to Afghanistan if not to practice jihad?

    It appears to my admittedly biased eye that the government, by refusing to use the words "unlawful combatant" doesn't want to prosecute and the judge is not going to do the job for them.

    Whether or not this is a wise move by Obama's JD will be known in the future.

    Apparently? (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 10:33:52 PM EST
    As I wrote. Why did a Syrian go to Afghanistan if not to practice jihad?

    The truth shall make you free, etc., etc.


    How would we know if he was indeed a US Spy? (none / 0) (#8)
    by fly on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:03:29 PM EST
    or not..

    What better than to hold him at Gitmo and make his mind into mush..There is nothing I trust in the former Admin or the present one that would give me confidence that one of our spies, foreign or domestic would be protected. After all They have proven otherwise.

    Canadian lawyer unearthed U.S. torture documents (none / 0) (#9)
    by fly on Sun Aug 30, 2009 at 05:06:31 PM EST
    Toronto Star: How Canadian lawyer unearthed U.S. torture documents

    "A lot of the documents describe abuses that are really horrific," he said in an interview. "It was hard to believe that these incidents had occurred in facilities run by the United States."

    The complete piece is at: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/688429