First Guantánamo Prisoner Cleared to Return Home by Review Board Leaves for Kuwait

November 5, 2014, New York – Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) released the following statement in response to the news that Fawzi al Odah was being returned home to Kuwait from Guantanamo after nearly 13 years of detention without charge or trial. 

The Center for Constitutional Rights welcomes the transfer of one cleared man from Guantanamo this morning, the day after the midterm elections. The fear mongering over transfers reached a fever pitch over the last weeks leading up to the election, but perhaps now we can look at the facts: 148 men now remain at Guantanamo, 79 of them have been cleared for release for years, and the vast majority are from Yemen, suffering collective punishment for their nationality. That is classic arbitrary detention. Al Odah was part of our Supreme Court cases establishing the rights of detainees at Guantanamo, but many of those rights have not been meaningfully enforced. The real work now is in getting the Obama administration to do the right thing and live up to its promise to close Guantanamo: release the men who have been cleared, no matter where they are from, and give the others real trials, not indefinite detention. 

The Center for Constitutional Rights has led the legal battle over Guantánamo for more nearly 13 years – representing clients in two Supreme Court cases and organizing and coordinating hundreds of pro bono lawyers across the country, ensuring that nearly all the men detained at Guantánamo have had the option of legal representation. Among other Guantánamo cases, the Center represents the families of men who died at Guantánamo, and men who have been released and are seeking justice in international courts.

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at


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November 5, 2014