BBC: 80% of those rehabilitated by The Center do not return to violence
Monday 11 September 2017
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on a visit to the Mohammed bin Nayef Center for Counseling and Care and said it had met with nine Yemeni al-Qaeda prisoners who had spent the last 15 years of their lives at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay. That all of them were captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2007, and finally sent by the United States to be under the care of Saudi Arabia, to be rehabilitated in the center before returning to their community free. Saudi Arabia is keen to showcase this rehabilitation center to the world, officially known as the Mohammed bin Nayef Center for Counseling and Care.
The center was established in 2004, after a series of attacks by al-Qaeda against the kingdom and aims to be a halfway house between prison and an open society. According to the BBC report, most of the prisoners in the center are convicted under the anti-terrorism laws.
The center rehabilitates former convicts abroad and tries to purge them of ideas of violence and extremism, adding that there is definitely no rehabilitation center anywhere else in the world that seeks to remove this type of psychological toxins. More than 3,300 inmates have graduated from the center since 2005, including 123 Guantanamo returnees. They say the success rate is 80%.
Prisoners spend at least three months in the center before evaluation whether they are ready to be released. Their general program is divided into three parts: counseling during prison before arriving at the center. Rehabilitation, and includes cognitive behavior programs, religious culture and sports activities. After care, follow-up continues after their release. When they asked their Yemeni returnees from Guantánamo, how did they feel about returning to society after all this time? "They said, “We have changed." “We consider ourselves new individuals now, thanks to this place."