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Pentagon releases 3 more “enemy combatants” to Slovakia – a country with a questionable human rights record

Guantanamo Bay prison camp had prisoners in cages like dogs.
Guantanamo Bay prison camp had prisoners in cages like dogs who were also sensory deprived of sight, hearing. They were unable to stand or streach their legs. 

The Pentagon announced the transfer of three detainees at Guantanamo Bay infamous prison camp on December 31, 2013 including Yusef Abbas – a man captured during the fight in Tora Bora as an enemy combatant and determined either associated with al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

The other individual named Saidullah Khalik, also determined to be an enemy combatant was found to be supporting al-Qaeda and the Taliban during combat operations hostile to U.S. forces.

The third man Hajiakbar Abdul Ghuper, was also an enemy combatant.

The men, all Chinese nationals, all ethnic Uighurs Muslim detainees were flown to Bratislava from the US military prison on the island of Cuba, according to an announcement made by Pentagon and State department officials on Tuesday. Yusef Abbas, Saidullah Khalik, and Hajiakbar Abdul Ghuper all apparently volunteered to resettle in Slovakia. The country accepted three former inmates in 2010.

According to the Pentagon press release:

“The Department of Defense is announcing today the transfer of Yusef Abbas, Saidullah Khalik, and Hajiakbar Abdul Ghuper from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Slovakia.

“These three are the last ethnic Uighur Chinese nationals to be transferred. They were subject to release from Guantanamo as a result of a court order issued on Oct. 7, 2008, by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and are voluntarily resettling in Slovakia.

“As directed by the president’s Jan. 22, 2009, executive order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of these cases. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these individuals were designated for transfer by unanimous consent among all six agencies on the task force.

“In accordance with statutory reporting requirements, the administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer these individuals.

“The United States is grateful to the government of Slovakia for this humanitarian gesture and its willingness to support U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the government of Slovakia to ensure the transfer took place in accordance with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.

“This transfer and resettlement constitutes a significant milestone in our effort to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Secretary Hagel remains grateful to the Defense Department’s Special Envoy Paul Lewis, and Department of State Special Envoy Cliff Sloan, for their and their respective teams’ many efforts that facilitated this successful transfer.

“Today, 155 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay” (source: DOD: http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=16457).

It should be noted that the Slovak Republic has numerous human rights violations including those noted by the U.S. State Department as “notable.”

They include:

“Notable human rights problems included lengthy pretrial detention; restrictions on freedom of religion; corruption in the judiciary, local government, and the health sector; violence against women and children; trafficking in persons; and societal discrimination and violence against Roma.  The overall human rights situation did not significantly change during the year…” (source: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78838.htm).

It remains unclear how much money (and other considerations) the U.S.  Government had to pay the Slovak government to accept the prisoners. The Slovak Embassy in Washington refused to discuss the situation of the transfer of detainees  with non approved media sources in the U.S. (meaning “citizen journalists”).

See documents relating to each enemy combatant:

1) Yusuf Abbas  http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/detainees/275-yusef-abbas/documents/5

2) Saidyllah Khalik   http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/detainees/280-saidullah-khalik/documents/5

3) Hajiakbar Abdul Ghuper http://wikileaks.org/gitmo/pdf/ch/us9ch-000282dp.pdf