Oman accepts 10 Gitmo inmates at US President Barack Obama’s request

January 16, 2017 9:00 pm

This file photo taken on April 8, 2014 shows the razor wire-topped fence and the watch tower of “Camp 6” detention facility at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Photo by AFP)

The United States has released 10 more inmates from its military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transferred them to , a last-ditch effort by the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama to deliver on a years-old pledge to shutter the controversial facility.
Oman confirmed on Monday morning that it had accepted the 10 inmates upon a request by Obama himself.
“To meet a request by the US government to assist in settling the issue of the detainees at Guantanamo, out of consideration of their humanitarian situation, 10 people released from that prison arrived in the Sultanate of Oman for a temporary residency,” Reuters reported, quoting a statement by the sultanate’s foreign ministry.
The statement did not disclose the names or the nationality of the prisoners.
The development came days after the Pentagon announced that it had cleared 19 of the remaining 55 prisoners at the facility for release before the end of Obama’s second term in the White House.
Last Thursday, four of the inmates were sent to Saudi Arabia after being imprisoned for 14 years over having ties with the al-Qaeda terror group. The US government never charged the inmates for their alleged crimes.
Obama has failed to keep his 2008 presidential campaign promise to close the prison due to strong opposition by Republicans.
Calling the facility a “waste of money,” Obama has said repeatedly that Gitmo hurts the US image abroad. The US Senate has confirmed that the prisoners were regularly tortured.
As many as 775 detainees were brought to the prison, which was set up after the September 11, 2001 attacks. None of them were given a chance to defend themselves at court.
Unlike Obama, his successor Donald Trump has indicated that he would keep the prison open and “load it up with some bad dudes.”
While campaigning for the 2016 presidential election, Trump also promised to bring back water-boarding, a torture technique authorized by Washington.
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