Four prisoners who were released from Guantánamo Bay and sent back to their home country of Iraq last month have been detained by authorities there and are being interrogated, Iraqi officials confirmed Feb. 17. “The government is reviewing their files to see if there are any charges against them,” said Wijdan Mikhail Salim, the minister of human rights. She said that they will be released if not found guilty of any crimes. Following contradictory statements by Iraqi officials, rights groups have expressed concern about the condition and whereabouts of the men, who were initially detained by the US in Afghanistan.
“The lack of clear information about these men’s fate since their return to Iraq raises obvious concerns,” said Jennifer Daskal of Human Rights Watch. “All these men have already been held for years without charge in Guantánamo and should now be either charged by the Iraqi government and prosecuted in a fair process, or released.” (NYT, Feb. 18)