US releases Saudi, Bahraini prisoners from Guantanamo

[JURIST] Three Bahrainis and a Saudi national were released Saturday from detention at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. None of the released detainees was ever charged with a crime under US law. According to a Bahraini lawmaker, the three Bahraini nationals were detained by Pakistani officials four years ago in Afghanistan and sold to US forces as members of Al-Queda, though their only crime was “distributing humanitarian aid among Afghani refugees.” They are expected to appear before Bahrain's prosecutor-general [empowering statute] to “take the necessary measures followed in such cases,” according to a Bahraini minister, but are not expected to be prosecuted. A Kuwaiti activist relying on “very reliable sources” said Saturday that as many as 40 Saudis will be released in the near future. There are 120 Saudi citizens currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, out of a total population of 500 prisoners. Read the US Department of Defense press release on the latest transfers. AFP has more on the Saudi national release; AP has more on the release of the Bahrainis.

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