The Obama administration’s steady transfer of Guantanamo Bay prisoners continued Wednesday when five detainees were released from the facility and relocated.
Congress was notified of the transfer and the administration's Guantanamo Review Task Force unanimously approved the move, the Pentagon said. The Defense Department announced the transfer of five detainees -- one to Estonia and four to Oman. Akhmed Abdul Qadir was transferred to Oman; Al Khadr Abdallah Muhammad Al Yafi, Fadel Hussein Saleh Hentif, Abd Al-Rahman Abdullah Au Shabati and Mohammed Ahmed Salam were transferred to Estonia, according to the Pentagon.
Wednesday’s announcement of the latest prisoner transfers comes less than a month after four other detainees were sent to Afghanistan. Five other prisoners were transferred to Kazakhstan late last month. The U.S. has accelerated its pace of prisoner transfers in recent weeks as the Obama administration works to achieve its goal of ultimately closing the prison. The New York Times reported earlier this month that the White House’s goal is to reduce the number of detainees at the facility to a point at which it no longer makes economic sense to operate the prison.
There are currently 122 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, according to the Defense Department. Many of the prison’s inmates have not been charged with a crime.
“The United States is grateful to the Government of Oman for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” the Pentagon said in a statement late Wednesday. “The United States coordinated with the Government of Oman to ensure these transfers took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.”