US will not release hunger-striking Guantanamo detainee

By REUTERS
August 15, 2015 03:40

 
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US Justice Department lawyers on Friday blocked a legal request that a Guantanamo Bay detainee who weighs just 74 lbs after an eight-year hunger strike be released for health reasons.

Lawyers for the 36-year-old Yemeni detainee Tariq Ba Odah, said the decision indicated that President Barack Obama is unable to control growing divisions in his administration and achieve his goal of closing the Guantanamo detention facility before he leaves office in 2017.

Ba Odah's defense attorney, Omar Farah, said the filing, which was sealed, reflected the Obama White House's inability to develop a coherent approach to transfer Ba Odah and 51 other detainees cleared for release.

"It is a transparent attempt to hide the fact that the Obama administration's inter agency process for closing Guantanamo is an incoherent mess," said Farah, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights.

"And it is plainly intended to conceal the inconsistency between the administration's stated intention to close Guantanamo and the steps taken to transfer cleared men," he added.

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