Judge orders release of sick Guantánamo captive

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth is pictured in his office in this Nov. 23, 2005, file photo in Washington.
U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth is pictured in his office in this Nov. 23, 2005, file photo in Washington.

A federal judge has ordered the release of a mentally ill Guantánamo Bay prisoner who has been held without charge at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba for more than 11 years.

Judge Royce Lamberth issued the brief order Friday after the U.S. government dropped its opposition to his release.

Attorneys for Ibrahim Idris, who is in his 50s, argued he is so ill he could not pose a threat to anyone. The Sudanese prisoner suffers from ailments that include diabetes and schizophrenia so severe that he has been catatonic in meetings with lawyers and doctors.

He was suspected of once being a fighter and courier for al-Qaida but diagnosed as mentally ill shortly after his arrival in Guantánamo on Jan. 11, 2002, on the day the first prisoners arrived at the U.S. base from Afghanistan..

He is currently one of 164 captives at the U.S. base in Cuba and is likely to be returned to Sudan.

Read more Guantánamo stories from the Miami Herald

Accused USS Cole bomber Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, a Saudi, shown at left in a photo before his capture by the CIA in 2002 and by sketch artist Janet Hamlin during a 2011 arraignment at Guántanamo.


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