Guantanamo Bay detention camp

Oman receives 10 prisoners from Guantanamo Bay

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 4:14pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 4:14pm

Oman said it received 10 inmates from the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay on Monday, in a move to reduce their number days before US President Barack Obama leaves office.

The statement from the sultanate’s foreign ministry did not disclose the nationality of the prisoners who would reside in the Gulf Arab country on a temporary basis.

“At the request of Sultan Qaboos and the US government for a solution to the question of Guantanamo detainees, 10 of these detainees arrived today in the sultanate to reside here temporarily,” the ministry said, quoted by the official ONA news agency.

The latest transfers would leave the number of Guantanamo detainees at 45, based on figures the Pentagon issued when four Yemenis were sent to Saudi Arabia on January 6.

At the time, Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest said he would expect “additional transfers” before the Democrat hands power to president-elect Donald Trump on January 20.

Obama vowed to close the Guantanamo detention facility when he took office in 2009, arguing that detention without trial did not reflect American values.

But faced with Pentagon foot-dragging and stubborn Republican opposition, his administration has focused on whittling down the number of inmates.

Trump has called for a freeze on transfers.

On January 3 he tweeted that “there should be no further releases from Gitmo. These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.”