[JURIST] Four Yemeni detainees were transferred [press release] Thursday from Guantanamo Bay to Saudi Arabia. After the detainees landed, a White House spokesman confirmed [Reuters reports] that there would likely be more Guantanamo detainees released before the January 20 inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump [official website], but no specific details were offered. The Obama administration currently hopes to release 19 of the remaining 59 detainees being held in the prison despite strong Republican objections. Trump recently called for a halt to the releases, stating [WP report] that the remaining detainees are too dangerous to be “allowed back onto the battlefield.” Trump currently intends to keep Guantanamo Bay open and filled with new detainees during his term.
Last month a detainee was transferred [JURIST report] from Guantanamo Bay to the government of Cape Verde, a small country off the Western coast of Africa. In September the Obama administration shut down [JURIST report] Camp 5 of Guantanamo Bay, which was a 100-cell maximum security prison. In August Vice President Joe Biden stated at a press conference in Sweden that he hoped and expected [JURIST report] that the Guantanamo prison would be closed before President Barack Obama leaves office. Also in August the DOD announced the transfer [JURIST report] of 15 Guantanamo detainees to the United Arab Emirates. Earlier in August a US Senator released a Pentagon Report [JURIST report] detailing the profiles of those currently detained in and recently released from the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) concluded that closing the facility would not be in the US’ best interests and would pose a safety risk.