copyright the Chronicle July 27, 2016
by Joseph Gresser
Abu Zahir was cleared to return to his country on July 11, exactly 14 years after he was arrested by U.S. forces at his home in Afghanistan. For most of that time Mr. Zahir was held prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, while a pair of Vermont lawyers worked on his behalf.
One of the two, David Sleigh of St. Johnsbury, said Monday that Mr. Zahir was “recommended for transfer without reservation.” Mr. Sleigh said that means he will not be under supervision on his return to Afghanistan.
In its “unclassified summary of final determination,” his periodic review board noted Mr. Zahir’s “limited role in Taliban structure and activities, and the assessment that [he] was probably misidentified as the individual who had ties to al-Qaeda weapons facilitation” as some of its reasons for allowing his release.
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