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US returns five more Guantanamo detainees to home countries

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense [official website] announced [press release] Thursday that it has transferred five more Guantanamo Bay detainees [GlobalSecurity.org timeline] to their home countries for detention or release, bringing the total number of detainees released from Guantanamo [JURIST news archive] so far this year to twelve. Three of the newly freed detainees have been transferred to Tajikistan, and two to Afghanistan. In a press release, the Defense Department said the transfer should signal to critics that "the US does not desire to hold detainees any longer than necessary."

Last week, seven Saudis formerly detained at the prison were returned to Saudi Arabia [JURIST report]. Some 85 other detainees at Guantanamo are currently eligible for transfer or release, but have not yet been handed over to their home governments. The US still holds another 385 prisoners at Guantanamo. AFP has more.

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