A Moroccan man held in Guantánamo Bay for nearly 20 years has been transferred from the prison to his native country.
Abdul Latif Nasir’s removal is believed to be the first transfer of a detainee in the Biden administration.
Five years ago, a review board recommended he be repatriated to his home country.
The panel “determined that law of war detention of Abdul Latif Nasir no longer remained necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the national security of the United States”.
The steps to take him back to Morocco began under the Obama administration but stalled when Donald Trump entered the White House.
Nasir’s removal sees 39 detainees remain in Guantánamo Bay.
In a statement confirming his release, the government said: “The United States commends the Kingdom of Morocco for its long-time partnership in securing both countries’ national security interests.
“The United States is also extremely grateful for the Kingdom’s willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility,” the statement said.
The legal charity Reprieve that represents Nasir, 56, said during his detention he was denied the basic due process right to contest allegations against him, as he was never charged with a crime.
It said that from 2005-2007, he was held in solitary confinement in a windowless cell with the lights on constantly and had no access to a lawyer.
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Nasir went on hunger strike twice to protest the conditions of his detention, the charity said.
“This transfer cannot make up for the two decades of his life that Abdul Latif has lost, held prisoner without charge, but we welcome his return to Moroccan soil at long last,” said Reprieve Deputy Director Katie Taylor.
“Other transfers of prisoners cleared for release must follow without delay.”
In February, the Biden administration said it intends to close the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, which was opened in 2002.
The facility, on the eastern tip of Cuba, was designed to be a place where suspects in the war on terror could be interrogated.
But prisoners have been indefinitely detained, many without charges or trial and subjected to reported abuse.
As the US war on terror dragged on, the detention facility became an international symbol of US rights abuses in the post-9/11 era.