Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner sues Canada for $35M

World
Sun, 24 Apr 2022 13:36 GMT
Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi, filed a $35 million lawsuit against the Canadian government for his 14-year detention, local media said Saturday. According to a statement filed Friday on behalf of Slahi in the Federal Court of Canada,...
Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner sues Canada for $35M

Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Mohamedou Ould Slahi, filed a $35 million lawsuit against the Canadian government for his 14-year detention, local media said Saturday.

According to a statement filed Friday on behalf of Slahi in the Federal Court of Canada, authorities took actions that "caused, contributed to and prolonged (his) detention, torture, assault and sexual assault at Guantanamo Bay," according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

Slahi, 51, a Mauritanian citizen who lived in Montreal from November 1999 to January 2000, was investigated by security services during that time.

He claimed that Canadian authorities harassed him during the investigation and forced him to return to Mauritania.

The "false information" about his activities by Canadian officials, led to his arrest and transfer to Jordan, Afghanistan and then to Guantanamo Bay.

The process leading up to Slahi's arrest in Montreal in 2002 started after he prayed at the same mosque with Ahmed Ressam, known as "Millennium plot" because he was an al-Qaeda member and planned to bomb the Los Angeles Airport during millennium celebrations.

Canadian authorities detained and arrested Slahi, who was praying at the mosque in Montreal, on suspicion of terrorism.

US interrogators, suspecting Slahi of membership in al-Qaeda, employed "enhanced interrogation techniques," which are now considered torture. As a result of torture, he confessed to all charges.

Released from Guantanamo in 2017, Slahi is working as a writer in a Dutch theater and has written several books.

"The Mauritanian" movie, shot last year, was based on one of his books.

Will Biden shut it down?

US President Joe Biden stressed during his vice presidency under Barack Obama and during the 2020 presidential race that Guantanamo should be closed.

Since taking office, Biden has released just one Guantanamo detainee.

The Pentagon announced July 19, 2021, that it extradited the last Moroccan citizen, 56-year-old Abdul Latif Nasir, from Guantanamo to his home country.

With that release, the number of detainees in Guantanamo fell to 39 but there are still questions about Biden's ability to close the notorious prison.

According to Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby, two of the remaining 39 detainees have been sentenced, while military court processes for 10 others continue.

While 13 other detainees are eligible for extradition, 14 are subject to periodic review.

After the completion of the military court process, detainees are then evaluated as to whether they are suitable for extradition.

It turned out that 85% of those released or extradited under Obama were not related to terrorism in any way, but it still took years for 197 detainees to be released from Guantanamo.

While most believe it may take time for Biden to release the remaining prisoners, closing the notorious prison is also considered very unlikely, especially under pressure from Congress.

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