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Two Guantanamo Bay detainees transferred to Algeria

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced Friday that two Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees have been transferred to Algeria [press release]. Hassan Zumiri had spent more than seven years in the Guantanamo detention center, while Adil Hadi al-Jazairi bin Hamlili [NYT profiles] had been held for five. Both men are Algerian nationals, bringing the total number of Algerians released from Guantanamo [KUNA report] to 19. The transfer comes amid criticisms from Republican Congress members after a Department of Defense [official website] official stated [JURIST report] recently that about one in five detainees have returned to terrorist activities, according to a classified Pentagon report.

Earlier this week, Slovakia's foreign ministry [official website, in Slovak] confirmed [JURIST report] that Slovakia will be accepting three detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay. Closure of the detention facility was initially due by January 22, 2010, but that deadline was not met. The administration has run into several hurdles in closing the prison, including opposition from members of Congress and the recent suspension of detainee transfers to Yemen [JURIST report]. In November, the Center for American Progress [advocacy website] issued a report [JURIST report] blaming missteps by the Obama administration for the delay.

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