US to restart Guantanamo-Yemen transfers

2013-05-23 12:07
The US flag flies over the war crimes courtroom in Camp Justice in this photo taken at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (File, AFP)

The US flag flies over the war crimes courtroom in Camp Justice in this photo taken at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (File, AFP)

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Washington - US President Barack Obama plans to renew efforts to close the military prison at Guantanamo, including through a resumption of transfers of inmates to Yemen, The Wall Street Journal reported late on Wednesday.

Obama was expected to mention his long-delayed plans to shut down the Guantanamo detention facility during a major address on Thursday on terrorism policy.

The prison was opened by Obama's predecessor, George W Bush, to hold detainees captured by the United States during fighting in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other locations.

During his election campaign, and immediately after taking office in January 2009, Obama announced that he would close the prison, located in a US naval base on Cuba's Guantanamo Bay.

Opposition from Congress and difficulties in finding countries to receive prisoners stalled his closure plans and slowed the transfer of detainees.

Yemen's weak oversight of Guantanamo transferees led to a halt in Yemeni inmates being sent back there.

Only five prisoners in total have left since 2011, after more than 600 had been transferred in the preceding years.

More than 100 of the 166 remaining Guantanamo inmates are reportedly engaged in hunger strikes to protest against their detention.

The resumption of transfers to Yemen could be approved within weeks, the Journal reported.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  yemen  |  us

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