Ten Yemenis released from Guantanamo arrive in Oman

Group of 10 Yemeni citizens released from United States’ Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba arrive in Oman

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Protesters in orange jumpsuits from Amnesty International USA and other organisations rally outside the White House to demand the closure of the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, in Washington on January 11, 2016

Ten Yemeni citizens who were released from controversial Guantanamo Bay Prison have arrived in Oman, the country's foreign ministry said.

According to the ministry’s statement, Oman has agreed to accept the group of detainees into the country after a “request by the US administration for help to resolve the issue of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.”

Officials from the United States confirmed Oman’s statement acknowledging the arrival of Yemenis.

According to US policy, Guantanamo detainees found no longer posing threat to US and its allies are being repatriated or transferred to third countries. Due to the unstable political situation in their country, the Yemeni detainees have been transferred to Oman, the country's news agency reported.

Seventeen detainees were scheduled to be released in 2016, as a part of US President Barack Obama’s effort to close the controversial detention centre before leaving his presidential office in 2017.

The recent transfers brought the number of inmates in Guantanamo Bay down to 93, after Obama said in a news conference in December 2015 that he was aiming to reduce the population as much as he could, until only an irreducible number of inmates stay.

He also reiterated that it doesn’t make sense for the US to spend an additional amount of tax dollars -hundreds of million of dollars- to have a overseas secure setting for the detainees.

US president said he will first present a plan to Congress about how to close the prison, while keeping back the threat of using his executive powers.

Obama signed a defence policy bill in November 2015, which would make closing Guantanamo harder, as it prevents transfering detainees from the detention centre to US for any purpose.

However, Obama suggested, the provisions of the approved bill could not be constitutional and not necessarily binding.

The last transfer of 10 detainees to Oman came only couple days after two Yemenis were transferred to Ghana.  

TRTWorld and agencies