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Three Guantanamo detainees repatriated to Saudi Arabia

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced [press release] Friday that three Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees have been transferred to Saudi Arabia, their country of origin, where they will undergo judicial review and rehabilitation. Khalid Saad Mohammed, Abdalaziz Kareem Salim Al Noofayaee, and Ahmed Zaid Salim Zuhair were already cleared by the Bush administration, but the DOJ conducted "a comprehensive review" pursuant to President Barack Obama's executive order [text; JURIST report] that also ordered the closure within one year of the Guantanamo detainee facility. This week, one detainee was transferred to the US for trial, four Uighur detainees were transferred to Bermuda [JURIST report], one detainee was transferred to Chad [DOJ press release], and one to Iran. According to Matthew Olsen, Executive Director of the Guantanamo Review Task Force, "[t]his marks the largest number of transfers in a single week."

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates [official profile] said last month that the US would continue efforts to reach an agreement with Saudi Arabia [JURIST report] to transfer 100 Yemeni detainees who would also undergo rehabilitation, despite reports that two former prisoners have rejoined al Qaeda in Yemen. The Saudi program to rehabilitate Islamic extremists was designed with input from psychiatrists, sociologists, and Muslim clerics. The Saudi Minister of Interior [official website] reports that only nine of the 218 men who have undergone rehabilitation have been rearrested. Guantanamo detainees have been moved to over thirty countries since 2002, and there remain 229 detainees at the detention facilities in Cuba.

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