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US Report Outlines Fates of Guantanamo Bay Prisoners

A U.S. government report says most of the people held at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba when President Barack Obama took office were low level fighters, not terrorist leaders or operatives involved in plots against the U.S.

The Washington Post
's website on Friday published the report, which was ordered by Mr. Obama as a step toward closing the Guantanamo prison. The task force evaluated the 240 detainees held at the base in 2009.

The report recommends transferring 126 detainees home or to a third country, prosecuting 36 for crimes and holding 48 without trial under the laws of war. The report says those 48 detainees are believed to be members of an enemy force, such as al-Qaida or the Taliban.

The U.S. report advocates indefinite detentions on the grounds that some prisoners are too dangerous to be released, but evidence against them might not be admissible in courts, among other problems.

The report also said 30 Yemenis should return home if their country becomes safe for them.

Of the 779 people the U.S. has imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay since 2002, former U.S. president George W. Bush released 530 of them and approved 59 others for release at the end of his term.

Mr. Obama's first executive order in office was to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, where critics say detainees have been denied basic rights. But Mr. Obama's initiative has struggled to gain support in Congress, while the Obama administration looks for an alternative facility for the Guantanamo prisoners.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.