Yemeni Guantanamo Bay detainee freed and resettled in Italy

Yemeni Guantanamo Bay detainee freed and resettled in Italy
After being held for 14 years in Guantanamo Bay without charge, US authorities are releasing a Saudi-born Yemeni man who will begin a new life in Italy.
2 min read
10 July, 2016
US guards employed torture techniques such as waterboarding at the camp [Getty]
A Yemeni who was held prisoner in Guantanamo Bay for more than 20 years has been released by US authorities and will begin a new life in Italy.

Saudi-born Fayiz Ahmad Yahia Suleiman was among the last 79 inmates at the US-operated detention centre on the island of Cuba.

He is among a couple of dozen "low level" Guantanamo prisoners who will be released in the coming weeks.

Due to the instability in his home country Yemen, an alternative country for resettlement.

"The United States is grateful to the Government of Italy for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility," the US Defense Department said in a statement.

Italy resettled two other former Guantanamo inmates in 2009. Suleiman was due to be released in 2010, but US authorities had to find the Yemeni a new home.

Congress has banned any former detainee from the camp to settle or pass through US soil, while America's allies have been reluctant to rehome former prisoners.

This is despite Suleiman and other detainees undergoing a comprehensive security check.

The Yemeni was sent to Guantanamo Bay after being suspected of fighting with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan against US and coalition forces.

Suleiman - who is believed to be aged around 40, now - was never charged with any crime.

US President Barack Obama pledged to close the site, after reports of inhuman treatment of detainees, while torture has been recorded by former prisoners and human rights groups.

Agencies contributed to this story.