US Transfers Guantanamo Bay Detainee to Saudi Arabia

    Image copyright: AP [via The Guardian]

    The Facts

    • Mohammad al-Qahtani, a former Gitmo prisoner, has been repatriated to Saudi Arabia to receive treatment at a psychiatric facility, after a review board determined he was no longer a "significant threat".

    • He has been held in US custody without trial since 2002, accused of trying to take part in 9/11.

    The Spin

    Right narrative

    Prisoners at Guantanamo are dangerous terrorists and they shouldn't be given the opportunity to return to the battlefield. They have dedicated their lives to attacking the US. Biden's misguided policies pose a serious risk to national security and the security of US allies.

    Left narrative

    This is a human rights issue. Mohammed al-Qahtani is a mentally ill torture survivor who was held without charge for most of his 20 yrs at Gitmo. His condition deteriorated significantly during his imprisonment due to the physical, sexual and psychological abuse he suffered. He belongs in the care of psychiatrists, not in a prison.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Gitmo is a global symbol of American injustice, abuse and disregard for the rule of law. Al-Qahtani is just one of many prisoners to be indefinitely detained without charges, including some who've been cleared for transfer for years. Detainees have been deliberately deprived of basic human dignity in what has been one of the worst rights' violations of the century.

    Political split



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