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Two detainees sent to Ireland, one to Yemen

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-10-02

The United States announced that it has transferred two detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Ireland, and one to Yemen. These are the latest releases as Obama administration pursues its plans to close the camp.

AFP - Three more Guantanamo detainees have been transferred from the remote US prison camp in Cuba to Ireland and Yemen, the US Department of Justice said Saturday, in the latest step toward closing the controversial camp.

Two of the detainees were transferred to Ireland, but the department declined to identify them or reveal when the transfers took place. Media reports in July suggested the two are Uzbek nationals, but both US and Irish authorities decline to comment.

Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed, a Yemeni native, was transferred back to his home country, following from federal court decision in May for his release. US officials similarly declined to give details on his release date.

"The United States has coordinated with the governments of each of these nations to ensure the transfers take place under appropriate security measures and will continue to consult with these governments regarding these detainees," the Justice Department said Saturday in a statement.

Since 2002, over 550 detainees have been transferred out Guantanamo, the department noted.

US President Barack Obama has vowed to shutter the controversial detention center by January but he has faced serious domestic opposition to his plans, especially to moving some of the detainees to US soil for trial or continued detention.

A major key to closing Guantanamo will be reaching a deal with Yemen, home to many of the detainees still at the facility, that provides the United States with sufficient assurances that returnees will not engage in terrorism.

Opened in January 2002 as a holding facility for men suspected of links to terrorism, Guantanamo Bay has been transformed from a sleepy US naval base on a strip of land leased from Cuba, to an international symbol for some of the most-criticized "war on terror" policies of former president George W. Bush's administration.
 

Date created : 2009-09-27