Cleared Mauritanian detainee released from Guantanamo Bay

October 29, 2015

Ahmed Ould Abd al-Aziz has been released from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay to his native Mauritania.

Aziz, a 45 year old client of international human rights NGO Reprieve, had been detained without charge or trial at the prison since 2002. He was cleared for release – a process involving unanimous agreement by six US Federal Agencies, including the CIA, FBI, and Departments of State and Defense – in 2009.

Mr Aziz will return to his family in Mauritania, where he will work at his brother-in-law’s newspaper. There are now 113 men still detained at the US prison, 53 of whom have been cleared for release.

Mr Aziz’s release comes as the UK awaits the return of Shaker Aamer, who has been cleared for release from Guantanamo since 2007 but remains detained. Notification of the US’ intention to release Shaker, back to his British wife and their four children in the UK, was handed to Congress over 30 days ago.

Clive Stafford Smith, Mr Aziz’s US attorney and Reprieve’s Director, said: “While it’s great that Ahmed is home with his family, it’s 14 years late, and long after he was cleared. His release was only delayed because he, an innocent man, routinely protested his mistreatment. Why is it that we as a nation do not have the courage to simply say sorry to Ahmed, his wife and his son?”

ENDS

1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization with offices in London and New York City. For more information, contact Reprieve’s press office:

UK: clemency [dot] wells [at] reprieve.org.uk / +44 (0) 207 553 8140
US: katherine [dot] oshea [at] reprieve.org / +1 917 855 8064