Oman receives 10 prisoners from Guantanamo Bay

45 detainees remain in the US detention camp in Cuba after the latest transfer. Four Yemenis were sent from the prison to Saudi Arabia earlier in January.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US President Obama vowed to shut down Guantanamo or Gitmo when he took office in 2009 as he said detention without trial did not reflect American values. US President-elect Donald Trump has made it clear he has no intention to close the detention centre.

On Monday, Oman announced it had taken 10 prisoners who were released by the United States’ detention centre in Cuba – Guantanamo Bay or Gitmo.

The release of prisoners is a part of outgoing US President Barack Obama’s push to decrease the inmate population in Guantanamo before his tenure comes to an end. Obama vowed to shut down the prison when he took office in 2009. Instead, he faced Pentagon foot-dragging and stubborn Republican opposition, forcing his administration to focus on whittling down the number of inmates.

"To meet a request by the US government to assist in settling the issue of the detainees at Guantanamo, out of consideration of their humanitarian situation, 10 people released from that prison arrived in the Sultanate of Oman for a temporary residency," an Oman foreign ministry statement said.

The nationalities of the inmates were not disclosed. The latest transfers leave the number of Guantanamo detainees at 45, according to a US official in Washington.

Ten days ago, four Yemenis were sent from the US prison to Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said he would expect "additional transfers" before the Democrats hand over power to President-elect Donald Trump on January 20.

On January 3, Trump tweeted Gitmo detainees should not be released and has called for a freeze on transfers.

TRTWorld and agencies