US releases 17 more Guantanamo detainees Bernard Hibbitts at 3:08 PM ET
[JURIST] The US Department of Defense announced [press release] Sunday that it has transferred 17 more Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees to their home countries for detention or release, bringing the number of detainees released from Guantanamo this year to 114. Seven of the newly-freed detainees have been transferred to Afghanistan, five to Yemen, three to Kazakhstan, one to Libya, and one to Bangladesh. The detainees were handed over after what DOD described as "multiple review board processes." The latest release follows hard on the heels of a transfer of 16 detainees [JURIST report] to Saudi Arabia late last week.
Some 85 other detainees at Guantanamo are currently eligible for transfer or release, but have not yet been handed over to their home governments. The Defense Department said Sunday:
Departure of these remaining detainees approved for transfer or release is subject to ongoing discussions between the United States and other nations. The United States does not desire to hold detainees for any longer than necessary. The department expects that there will continue to be other transfers and releases of detainees.
The US still holds another 395 prisoners at Guantanamo. US Legal Adviser to the Secretary of State John Bellinger said in an interview published in London's Daily Telegraph last Friday that Guantanamo Bay detainees considered an ongoing security threat will remain in custody indefinitely [JURIST report], regardless of whether there is sufficient evidence to try them before a US military commission.
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