Sun, 14 Aug 2022

Washington [US], June 24 (ANI): The United States has released a man who is believed to be one of the last Afghan detainees held inside the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, following negotiations with Washington.

Forty-year-old detainee Asadullah Haroon Gul was held for 15 years at the military prison under the name Haroon al-Afghani, The New York Times reported. It is to be noted that the prisoner was never charged with any war crimes.

The New York Times reported that an air force plane carrying Haroon departed from Guantanamo Bay on Thursday and delivered him to Qatar. Qatari officials then handed Haroon over to Taliban representatives in Doha, according to a senior US official as quoted by The New York Times.

However, Gul's release was also announced by Taliban member Zabihullah Mujahid on his Twitter handle. He that Gul was one of the last two Afghan prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay.

Haroon was considered a commander of the Hezb-e Islami militia, which allegedly fought alongside the Taliban and Al Qaeda against the US invasion of Afghanistan. Later in 2016, the militia made peace with Ashraf Ghani-led Afghan government, a US ally, casting doubt on whether Haroon could legally be held as part of an enemy force at Guantanamo Bay.

Then Ghani government had filed a petition in the US court seeking his return, as per the report.

The US opened the detention centre under President George W Bush in January 2002 after the 9/11 attacks and the invasion of Afghanistan.

Notably Mullah Muhammad Fazil Mazloom Akhund, Deputy Defence Minister was held in Guantanamo Bay detention camps in Cuba for 12 years. (ANI)

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