[JURIST] On Wednesday the US Department of Defense [official website] said five prisoners at Guantanamo Bay will be released to the Kazakhstan government as part of an effort by the Obama Administration [official website] to expedite the closing of the facility [JURIST report]. An interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of the cases of Asim Thabit Abdullah Al-Khalaqi, Muhammad Ali Husayn Khanayna, Sabri Muhammad Ibrahim Al Qurashi, Adel Al-Hakeemy and Abdullah Bin Ali Al-Lufti. The men were unanimously approved for transfer [press release]. 127 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archives].
The acceleration of the closure of Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] is a part of the administration’s attempt to fulfill campaign promises made by President Obama in 2008, despite restrictions in the latest defense spending bill [JURIST report]. Last week the Department of Defense announced the repatriation [JURIST report] of four Guantanamo Bay detainees to Afghanistan. Earlier this month the Pentagon announced the transfer [JURIST report] of six detainees from Guantanamo to Uruguay. This move is the result of a 2009 Executive Order issued by President Barack Obama instructing the Guantanamo Bay Review Force to review these cases. In November five detainees were released [JURIST report] to their respective home countries of Georgia and Slovakia. Also in November the Pentagon announced the the release [JURIST report] of Fouzi Khalid Abdullah Al Awda from the detention facilities after nearly 13 years of imprisonment without a trial. In June the final known US prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl was released into US custody [JURIST report] in exchange for five detainees held at Guantanamo Bay.