Gitmo rehabilitation centre in Kuwait

An article in The National gives more details about the Gitmo rehabilitation centre in Kuwait.

Al Salam Rehabilitation Centre, a compound within the grounds of the country’s central prison, seems very luxurious, with its carpeted living room, Islamic paintings and library of carefully chosen religious books. However, it was opened in June with just four prisoners in mind. It is reported that the centre was in fact an attempt by the Kuwaiti government to entice the United States into sending four Kuwaitis who remained at the US military base in Guantanamo Bay back home.

Since that time two of the detainees have been released. Khalid al Mutairi returned to Kuwait in October and underwent six weeks of psychological and religious counselling in the facility, where he would sit sipping tea with the guards in a shaded area near the basketball court during breaks. He was allowed to move home when Kuwait’s public prosecution dropped the charges against him, but prison officials said he returned “voluntarily” for the next five months.

Another detainee, Fouad al Rabiah, who was released in December, was never detained in the facility, but meets Adel al Zayed, head of the ministry of health’s psychiatric department who is in charge of psychiatric care in the centre, in his home every week.

Aside from treatment in the facility, the Kuwaiti government’s plan to reintegrate the former prisoners into society includes handouts of cash and favours.

Mr al Rabiah, who was an engineer with Kuwait Airways before he was picked up by the US military in Afghanistan, was working for the airline again two months after his return and the government gifted him all the wages he lost while imprisoned, Mr al Zayed said. He said Mr al Mutairi will wed in one month and his marriage will be sweetened with a lump-sum payment from the state.

Later last month, David Cynamon, the lead attorney for the Kuwaiti detainees in Guantanamo Bay, said in a letter to Mr Obama: “Officials of your administration have now informed the government of Kuwait that they will not even consider returning the last two Kuwaiti detainees unless Kuwait imposes restrictive conditions on Mr al Rabiah and the other Kuwaiti released by a federal court – as if they were paroled criminals instead of men who never should have been imprisoned in the first place.”


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