Yemeni prisoner Khalid Ahmed Qasim, who has been held without charge or trial at Guantánamo for over 20 years, has been cleared for release by the periodic review board. He is one of 21 of the remaining 36 prisoners who have been cleared but will remain at Guantánamo for now as the US looks for safe third countries to host them. Only four of the remaining prisoners are “forever” prisoners, whose status has not been clarified and are being held indefinitely; three of them were previously tortured at CIA secret facilities around the world before arriving at Guantánamo.
A three-week pre-trial hearing commenced in the case of Abd Al Nashiri, accused of involvement in attacking a US navy vessel in the Gulf of Aden in 2000. During the hearing, it was revealed that he had told FBI agents that he had been waterboarded by the CIA, as testified by an interpreter; however, this information is not included in the official account of his interrogations prosecutors want to use as evidence of his confession in his death-penalty trial. The interpreter’s testimony also revealed that “The C.I.A. had a secret role at Guantánamo in the detention and interrogations of the men by F.B.I. and Navy law enforcement agents, including collecting the notes from interrogations” and “The C.I.A. required that the interrogators write their accounts of what they learned on agency computers, which were classified”. During the pre-trial hearing, lawyers also raised arguments related to his mental health situation. As a member of the courtroom staff tested positive for Covid-19, the hearing was closed before the end of the first week until at least the middle of the first week of August.