US sends 6 Yemeni prisoners to Oman

Six Yemeni prisoners from Guantanamo sent back by US to Oman

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The US has transferred six Yemeni inmates held for more than a decade at the military prison Guantanamo to Oman for resettlement, Reuters has reported.

The Pentagon said in a statement on Friday that it had transferred Idris Ahmad Abd Al Qadir Idris, Sharaf Ahmad Muhammad Masud, Jalal Salam Awad Awad, Saad Nasser Moqbil Al Azani, Emad Abdallah Hassan and Muhammad Ali Salem Al Zarnuki from Guantanamo to Oman.

"As directed by the president's January 22, 2009, executive order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted comprehensive reviews of each of these cases," the statement said.

"As a result of that review process, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these men were unanimously approved for transfer by the six departments and agencies comprising the task force,” it added.

According to the statement, the Pentagon and Yemen cooperated during the transfer of the prisoners. 

“No further large transfers are imminent,” said a senior US official, though efforts continue to repatriate prisoners or settle them elsewhere.

The six men sent to Oman, a sultanate bordering Yemen at the tip of the Arabian peninsula, were identified as low-risk detainees cleared years ago for transfer.

There still sixty-nine Yemenis held at Guantanamo, making up more than half of the remaining detainees, but Washington has ruled out sending them home because of the chaotic security situation.

One hundred and sixteen prisoners still remain at Guantanamo seven years after US President Barack Obama’s promised to close the camp. 

The Guantanamo prison camp was ordered to be built by Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, to intern terror suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. It has been criticized by human rights groups and labeled a “legal black hole” where prisoners are punished without trial.

TRTWorld and agencies