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Saudi Arabia wants US to return Guantanamo nationals within a year

[JURIST] Saudi Arabia would like to have all of its nationals held at the US detention center in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] returned to Saudi custody within one year, Saudi ambassador to the United States Prince Turki Al-Faisal [official profile] said Thursday. Approximately 95 of the over 400 Guantanamo detainees [JURIST document] are from Saudi Arabia, including two men that were awaiting trials by military commissions [JURIST news archive] before the US Supreme Court ruled in June that military commissions as initially constituted lacked proper legal authorization [JURIST report]. Two Saudis were also among three detainees who committed suicide [JURIST report] last month.

Al-Faisal said the Saudi and US governments negotiated a framework agreement to return the Saudi citizens into Saudi custody in batches. The US transferred 14 detainees back into Saudi custody last month, and another 15 detainees [JURIST reports] in May. Though top US officials have said they would like to close Guantanamo, top US State Department legal advisor John Bellinger said in June that torture concerns in the detainees' home countries complicate their release [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

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