Egypt asks U.S. to release Egyptian held in Gitmo

A U.S. military guard tower stands on the perimeter of a detainee camp at the U.S. detention center for "enemy combatants" on Sept. 16, 2010 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Getty Images/John Moore

(AP) CAIRO - Egypt has asked the United States to release the last Egyptian incarcerated at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba, where he has been held since 2001.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry statement Thursday says Cairo has sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton requesting the release of Tarek al-Sawah.

The ministry said Egypt made the request on the grounds that al-Sawah has been held for 11 years without charges or trial. The statement says the U.S. military's own prosecution has dropped charges against him of supporting terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

Critics have challenged the military trials and note that a majority of the nearly 170 prisoners still in Guantanamo Bay will never be charged with a crime or face trial.

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