U.S. to Release Last Russian in Guantanamo


U.S. authorities have said they will release the only remaining Russian citizen held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, the BBC reported Tuesday.

Ravil Mingazov, a 48-year-old ethnic Tatar, has spent almost 14 years in the U.S. detention center in Cuba, after he was captured in Pakistan in 2002.

The U.S. accuses him of having joined the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a listed terrorist organization, attending a military training camp in Afghanistan, fighting with the Taliban and later joining al-Qaida. Mingazov denies all involvement in extremist and terrorist activity.

A federal court in Washington issued an order for Mingazov’s release in 2010, saying there was insufficient evidence against him.

Mingazov, who has family in Britain, is the last Russian citizen held in Guantanamo. Seven Russian citizens, labeled “the Russian Taliban," were extradited to Russia in 2007.

Guantanamo currently holds 76 prisoners, 32 of whom the U.S. has pledged to free.

U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to close the Guantanamo detention center since 2008 but has faced opposition from across the political spectrum. The U.S. is currently trying to negotiate the handing over of Guantanamo prisoners to other countries.

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