[JURIST] An Al Jazeera [media website] cameraman from Sudan who had been detained at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] since 2002 was released from the prison [press release] on Thursday and flown back to Sudan early Friday morning. Sami al Haj [advocacy website] was among nine prisoners who were transferred from Guantanamo; three were sent to Sudan, five to Afghanistan and one to Morocco. The US Defense Department said Friday that approximately 65 other detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay are eligible for release, and that those detainees are the subject of ongoing discussions between the US and other nations. Approximately 270 detainees still remain at the prison.
Al-Haj was arrested [CPJ report] by Pakistani authorities while he was attempting to cross the border into Afghanistan in 2001 and was turned over to the US. He was accused of being a courier for a terrorist organization and taken to Guantanamo in January 2002. Al-Haj had been on a hunger strike since January 2007 to protest the conditions and the indefiniteness of his confinement. AP has more. Al Jazeera has additional coverage.