The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Shawqi Awad Balzuhair from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Cabo Verde.
On July 11, 2016, a Periodic Review Board consisting of representatives from the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and State; the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence determined continued law of war detention of Balzuhair does not remain necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States. As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, Balzuhair was recommended for transfer by consensus of the six departments and agencies comprising the Periodic Review Board. The Periodic Review Board process was established by the president’s March 7, 2011 Executive Order 13567.
In accordance with statutory requirements, the secretary of defense informed Congress of the United States’ intent to transfer this individual and of the secretary’s determination that this transfer meets the statutory standard.
The United States is grateful to the Government of Cabo Verde for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The United States coordinated with the Government of Cabo Verde to ensure this transfer took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.
Today, 59 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay.
More information on the Periodic Review Secretariat can be found here: http://www.prs.mil/.
Release No: NR-426-16
Dec. 4, 2016