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January 17, 2017

Ten Guantanamo Detainees Transferred to Oman

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today praised the transfer of ten Guantanamo detainees to Oman this weekend, and encourages the Obama Administration to continue to transfer the remaining nine cleared detainees before he leaves office this week.              

“While this weekend’s transfer is encouraging, we cannot forget that there are nine cleared detainees languishing at Guantanamo; detainees who the president can and should transfer in the next few days,” said Human Rights First’s Raha Wala. “It is disappointing that President Obama has fallen short of his promise to close Guantanamo, but he can still make progress toward that goal.”

On his second full day in office, President Obama gathered a group of retired generals and admirals in the Oval Office to witness his executive order to close Guantanamo. While the president has failed to shutter the facility, the number of detainees has dwindled from 242 to 45. National security leaders and former government officials—including president George W. Bush, and other officials who helped set up the detention center—have supported closing Guantanamo because they’ve determined that it’s operation is contrary to the national interest.  Human Rights First urges President-elect Trump to continue efforts to close the facility.

There are 45 detainees held at Guantanamo, which costs approximately $445 million per year to operate, nearly $10 million per detainee. Nine detainees have been unanimously cleared for transfer by six national security and intelligence agencies.  

Thirty-six retired generals and admirals of the U.S. Armed Forces sent a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, urging them to work with the president to shutter the detention facility. “Closing Guantanamo will not be easy, but it is the right thing to do, and we call on you to work together to accomplish it. We take heart that our nation has elected people who will exercise their conscientious judgment, but who will not allow politics to obscure courage,” wrote the generals and admirals.  

For more information or to speak with Wala contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.