UAE repatriates 12 former Guantanamo detainees to Yemen

UAE repatriates 12 former Guantanamo inmates to Yemen
1 min read
29 October, 2021
Twelve Yemeni inmates who were being kept in the UAE have been sent back to their country. They were detainees at Guantanamo Bay
The Yemeni inmates were previously held at Guantanamo Bay [Getty]

Twelve former Guantanamo inmates who were being held in the United Arab Emirates were repatriated to Yemen earlier this week, their lawyer revealed on Wednesday.

Abdulrahman Barman, a lawyer for the detainees and a Yemeni government official, said an Emirati military plane carrying the 12 landed in southern Yemen’s Al Mukalla on Wednesday.

He said the Yemeni government contacted the families of the detainees, asking them to prepare for their release at al-Rayan military base, which has been under UAE control since 2015.

The former inmates were among a group of 18 Yemenis and one Russian national transferred from Guantanamo Bay between 2015 and 2017 to the UAE, where they’ve been in detention since.

They were captured in Afghanistan and Pakistan following the 9/11 attacks in New York, and were held for more than a decade without charge or trial.

The UN and human rights groups have urged Abu Dhabi and Washington to stop forcibly repatriating detainees to their home countries where they could face torture in detention.

Their transfer to the UAE was part of a plan by former US president Barack Obama to close the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison.