Egypt requests release of last citizen held at Gitmo

The Egyptian government announced Aug. 2 that it has requested the release of the last of its citizens currently being held at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. Egyptian Tarek al-Sawah, 54, has been held at Guantánamo for 11 years without charges or trial. Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel requested al-Sawah’s release in a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In announcing the request the Foreign Ministry noted that al-Sawah’s prior charges of supporting terrorist groups in Afghanistan were dropped by the US military prosecutors and that the Egyptian government will appoint a US lawyer specializing in the rights of Guantanamo prisoners to defend al-Sawah. Since President Mohammed Morsi was sworn in a few weeks ago the Muslim Brotherhood-led administration has sought freedom for many Egyptians internationally jailed for Islamist militancy.

Last month Morsi ordered the release of 572 individuals in Egypt who had been convicted by the military. Morsi, Egypt’s first elected civilian president, had formed a committee to review all the cases of prisoners who had been sentenced by military courts since the beginning of the revolution that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak last year.

From Jurist, Aug. 3. Used with permission.