[JURIST] The US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] announced Thursday the transfer of five detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder]. Three are being transferred to the country of Georgia, while Slovakia will accepted [press releases] the transfer of two more detainees. In 2009 the Guantanamo Review Task Force, composed of six agencies, approved the transfers after considering factors such as security issues. Congress imposed restrictions on dozens of approved releases including prohibiting any detainees from being sent to the US, but many restrictions were relaxed last December. A total of 143 prisoners remain [AP report] at Guantanamo, and 74 of these have also been cleared for a future transfer.
Guantanamo has received a lot of criticism for detaining prisoners and alleged human rights violations. The DOD announced [JURIST report] earlier this month the release of Fouzi Khalid Abdullah Al Awda from Guantanamo, after nearly 13 years of imprisonment without a trial. In October a federal judge ordered [JURIST report] the public release of 28 videos showing the forcible removal and forced feeding of a detainee, but the US Department of Justice [official website] filed a motion seeking to stay [JURIST report] the order. The DOD notified Congress in July that it intends to transfer [JURIST report] six Guantanamo detainees to Uruguay. Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] published a letter in April to US President Barack Obama, urging the US to expedite the return [JURIST report] of Yemeni detainees cleared for release from Guantanamo Bay.