US repatriates two Guantanamo detainees to Saudi Arabia
WASHINGTON // The United States has sent two detainees being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility back to their native Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said on Monday, the latest push in a slow-moving effort towards eventually shuttering the facility.
The transfers of Saad Muhammad Husayn Qahtani and Hamood Abdulla Hamood lowered the prisoner population to 160 and follows the repatriation of two prisoners to Algeria earlier this month.
The Saudi detainees had not been charged with a crime.
“The US has made real progress in responsibly transferring Guantanamo detainees despite the burdensome legislative restrictions that have impeded our efforts,” Paul Lewis, the Pentagon’s special envoy for the closure of the facility, said in a statement.
Obama had promised to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility during his 2008 presidential campaign, saying it had damaged the reputation of the United States around the world. But he has been unable to do so during nearly five years in office, in part because of resistance from Congress.
Published: December 16, 2013 04:00 AM