Keeping up with the plans to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, nine detainees from Yemen were transferred from the complex to Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Although reducing the total of detainees in Guantanamo Bay down to 80, President Obama is far from achieving his goal to close the detention center.
The U.S. military detention facility located in Cuba, as been the host for plenty of inmates considered a national threat, yet it now hosts an all-time low number of detainees. According to the New York Times, Saudi Arabia and the United States had been negotiating the prisoner’s transfer for quite some time, but it was finally agreed upon a few months ago.
All nine men who had been detained in Guantanamo until Saturday – when they were transferred to Saudi Arabia – have strong family ties with the Arabic country. Considering that Yemen borders Saudi Arabia, the nine men were described as ‘practically Saudis’ by US officials. It’s worth noticing that all nine detainees were thoroughly revised before transferring them to Saudi Arabia by the Guantanamo Review Task Force.
According to the Pentagon news release, there were plenty of factors considered in the ‘comprehensive review’ from the GRTF before their transfer was approved. Nevertheless, the statement also included the assurance by both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia to conduct this transfer with appropriated security as well as proper humane treatment measures. Now, thanks to the approval of the transfer of nine detainees from Yemen, the total of prisoners at the U.S. military detention facility has the lowest inmates since it opened.
What’s more, 26 other detainees at Guantanamo are being relocated to another detention facility following its approval, although there’s still no date scheduled. However, these could be considered as steps in the right direction to fulfill Obama’s plans to shut it down.
Guantanamo has done more wrong than right
The prison located in Cuba was opened in January 2002 under Bush administration in order to bring detainees from the Afghanistan War to the American naval base. The Guantanamo prison was under investigation and was presumed to be a place where torture of detainees took place regularly.
The detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has not helped the United States advance its national security, said Obama in a press release from the Oval Office on February. Out of nearly 800 prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, more than 85% have been transferred abroad, according to a report from the Defense Department.
The Pentagon, which would hold no more than 60 detainees in each of its maximum-security prisons, has proposed only 13 potential sites on U.S. soil. The facilities would include seven existing prisons in Colorado, South Carolina, and Kansas.
Source: New York Times