World Bulletin / News Desk
The Pentagon on Monday transferred two Guantanamo detainees, one Yemeni and the other Tajik, to Serbia, bringing the population of the controversial US military prison to 76.
Tajik national Muhammadi Davlatov and Yemeni Mansur Ahmad Saad al-Dayfi were both unanimously approved for transfer by six US government departments and agencies, the State Department said.
President Barack Obama, as one of his first official acts after being elected in 2008, vowed to empty and shutter the notorious "war on terror" prison, which critics feel has tarnished America's reputation because of treatment deemed inhumane to the inmates there.
"As directed by the president's January 22, 2009, executive order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review" of Davlatov's case and unanimously approved his transfer, a Pentagon statement said.
US defense, homeland security and other officials determined late last year that continued imprisonment of al-Dayfi "does not remain necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States."
The Defense Department statement thanked Serbia "for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility" -- a sentiment echoed by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
"The United States appreciates the generous assistance of Serbia as the United States continues its efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,"Kerry said in a statement.
"This significant humanitarian gesture is consistent with Serbia's leadership on the global stage."
The United States has in recent months accelerated the rate at which detainees who have been approved for transfer are released from the facility, which Obama urgently wants to close before he leaves office at the start of next year.
Guantanamo is a US naval base carved out of a remote chunk of land on the tip of southeastern Cuba. The administration of George W. Bush opened a prison there to hold terror suspects.
The Guantanamo prison has held about 780 inmates in all since it was opened shortly after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.
Transfers have been slowed because many inmates were from war-torn Yemen, and so had to be returned to a third country that can provide rehabilitation and monitoring.
Obama would like to send inmates deemed to be the most dangerous for incarceration in the United States but Republican lawmakers have steadfastly resisted any such move.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Temmuz 2016, 10:07