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Six Guantanamo Detainees Transferred to Oman

  • VOA News

Map of Oman

Map of Oman

The Obama administration has transferred to Oman six lower-level Yemeni detainees from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where each had been held for more than a decade.

The U.S. military said Saturday that the United States coordinated with Oman's government to ensure the "transfers took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures."

The Pentagon also thanked Oman's government for its "humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility."

All six men arrived in Oman on Saturday.

Defense officials have not said what restrictions the men will be under in Oman. But such detainees are usually kept under house arrest for at least a year and their activities are monitored.

The six detainees had been cleared for transfer from Guantanamo in 2010. But the fighting and political instability in Yemen delayed the transfer until U.S. officials reached a deal to settle them in Oman.

These are the first prisoners moved from the Guantanamo facility since January, when four other Yemeni detainees were sent to Oman.

The latest release brought the population at Guantanamo to 116, fewer than half the number being held there when President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Most of the prisoners at the U.S. naval base have been held without being charged or tried.

Obama vowed to close the detention facility when he ran for office. But the process has been very slow, with lawmakers and Pentagon officials blocking his goal of emptying the prison.

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