[JURIST] The US Department of Defense announced Tuesday that Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England [official profile] has concluded that 55 Guantanamo Bay detainees are eligible for transfer after reviewing the results of a second round [summary, PDF] of administrative review board (ARB) [DOD materials] hearings held at the US military prison between January 30, 2006 and December 6, 2006. The other 273 detainees whose cases were considered by an ARB will continue to be detained at Guantanamo Bay. According to a DOD press release [text]:
The ARB is a review process which provides an opportunity for the detainee to appear before and present information to a three-member board of military officers. The outcome, which is based primarily on current threat assessment and intelligence value of each detainee, can be to release, to transfer to the control of another country, or to continue to detain the detainee at Guantanamo for another year. …
More detainees have been released or transferred than remain in Guantanamo, underscoring the fact that the United States has put in place processes to assess each individual and make a determination about whether they may be released or transferred during the course of ongoing hostilities. This process is discretionary, administrative and is not required by the Geneva Convention or by U.S. or international law.
Approximately 385 detainees are currently held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], over 80 of whom have been "designated for release or transfer, pending discussions with other nations or pending resolution of litigation in U.S. courts."
Most recently, five detainees were transferred [JURIST report] to their home countries last week – three to Tajikistan and two to Afghanistan.