Pentagon identifies Guantanamo inmates it says are too dangerous to transfer out

Rights groups hail first identification of those at Guantanamo seen as too dangerous to let go

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 1:52am


The Pentagon has finally released the names of Guantanamo Bay's 46 "indefinite detainees", terror suspects considered too dangerous to transfer from the prison and who cannot be tried in court.

The 15-page list, which gave details about the prisoners for the first time, was released to The New York Times and The Miami Herald on Monday in response to freedom of information requests.

Today's revelation is wecome, though long overdue

It contained the names of all 166 detainees - 34 eligible for prosecution - who remain at the US jail in southeastern Cuba.

The men designated for indefinite detention comprise 26 Yemenis, 12 Afghans, three Saudis, two Kuwaitis, two Libyans, a Kenyan, a Moroccan and a Somali. Two of those men, both Afghans, have died. One is said to have committed suicide and the other to have died of a heart attack.

The status of the captives is one of the most controversial aspects of the notorious prison camp.

US officials say that because the men were subjected to harsh interrogation techniques, such as the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, denounced as torture, they cannot be prosecuted because the evidence against them is tainted and cannot be admitted in court.

In 2009, a multi-agency task force sorted through the detainees' records as it sought to fulfil President Barack Obama's promise to close Guantanamo.

The task force announced in January 2010 that it had classified 48 of the detainees as ineligible for trial because of insufficient evidence or evidence that was inadmissible. But it had never released their names.

Rights groups welcomed the move but made fresh calls for the Obama administration to transfer the 86 detainees who have already been cleared, most of them Yemenis, out of Guantanamo.

"It is fundamental to democracy that the public know the identities of the people our nation is depriving of liberty and why they are being detained," Human Rights First's Dixon Osburn said. "The United States has held some of the men at Guantanamo now for over a decade. Today's revelation is welcome, though long overdue."