Of the remaining prisoners, 86 are considered safe enough to release into the
authority of another country. More than 50 of those are from Yemen.
A further 34 are slated to face eventual prosecution either in a military
court or in the US federal system.
The release of the task force’s review will serve as a reminder of Mr Obama’s
frustrated effort to shut down Guantánamo and transfer the prisoners to
federal detention centres on the US mainland. Republicans in Congress have
consistently vote to thwart that plan.
In a major counter-terrorism speech last month, Mr Obama promised a renewed
effort and lifted a moratorium on transferring prisoners to Yemen. He
ordered a halt on the transfer process in early 2010 after al-Qaeda’s Yemeni
offshoot attempted to bomb a airliner headed for Detroit.
Yesterday, he appointed Clifford Sloan, a Washington lawyer and former
government official, to lead the effort to shut down the prison.
In his May speech, the President was vague on what would become of the 46 men
who his administration judged could not be tried, either because there was
not enough evidence or the evidence had been extracted torture.
“Once we commit to a process of closing GTMO, I am confident that this
legacy problem can be resolved, consistent with our commitment to the rule
of law,” he said, without offering further details.
More than 100 detainees are currently on hunger strike in the camp, of which
more than 40 are being force fed through tubes.
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