Abdul Latif Nasser
Abdul Latif Nasser is a 51-year-old Moroccan national, who was sold for a bounty to the US military in 2002. He was subsequently detained in Guantanamo Bay without charge or trial. Abdul Latif was cleared for release in July 2016, but remains in Guantanamo to this day, due to bureaucratic delay.
Abdul Latif has a strong appetite for learning, and has taken every opportunity to study during his imprisonment. When he arrived at Guantanamo in May 2002, he knew no English, but after years of independent study, he now speaks fluently with his attorney and the guard force. He is also famous across the prison base for drafting his own 2,000-word English-to-Arabic dictionary. Upon his release, Abdul Latif would ultimately like to pursue a career in computer science.
Reprieve attorney Shelby Sullivan-Bennis describes Abdul Latif as an “introspective, intelligent, and kind-hearted man” who loves to learn.
At his Periodic Review Board hearing in July 2016, Abdul Latif told the Board that he would prefer to be repatriated to Morocco, to be with his family and begin a new life. He plans to live in his family’s five-bedroom home in Casablanca. A number of family members have said they would financially support his reintegration, and his brother has offered him employment at his successful water treatment company. Abdul Latif would also be supported by Reprieve’s Life After Guantanamo program, which supports ex-prisoners after release to ensure their successful reintegration
Following his hearing, Abdul Latif was unanimously approved by the Periodic Review Board for transfer home to Morocco on July 11th, 2016. However, the Moroccan government took too long to respond to the US resettlement request, and Abdul Latif’s freedom was consequently snatched away due to the slow transfer process.
On January 18 2017, Reprieve filed emergency litigation on Abdul Latif’s behalf, asking the court to relieve the Obama Administration of the burden of the 30-day Congressional notice requirement. This would have allowed the Obama Administration to release him to Morocco, before President-elect Trump took office.
However, on January 19, the court ruled that Abdul Latif has no legal right to leave the prison – despite winning his release though the Periodic Review Board, the only viable release mechanism he has. In declining to enable Abdul Latif’s release, the DC federal court insisted that he had no right to be released because a win at the Periodic Review Board is merely ‘advisory’. This leaves prisoners at Guantánamo with no way out – no charge, no trial and no viable, enforceable path to release.
On January 19, Reprieve wrote an urgent letter to President Obama, asking him to withdraw opposition to our motion and transfer Abdul Latif home to Morocco immediately. However, the White House did not respond to our letter.
As a consequence, despite being cleared for release, Abdul Latif now faces indefinite detention at the mercy of the Trump Administration.