The US Department of Defense Nov. 4 announced the transfer of one Guantánamo Bay detainee to Somaliland. DOD hailed the move as proof of the effectiveness of its review processes and of US desire not to hold detainees any longer than necessary. The Department reports that approximately 60 detainees at Guantanamo are currently eligible for transfer or release.
The announcement is the latest in a series of recent transfers. On Nov. 2, DOD announced the transfer of two other Guantánamo detainees, one to Tajikistan and one to Kazakhstan. There are approximately 255 detainees still at Guantánamo. Last week, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confirmed that the detention facilities at Guantanamo will remain open for the remainder of President George W. Bush’s administration. Gates said any decision to close the prison would rest with the incoming administration. Sen. Barack Obama, elected Nov. 4 as the next US president, has said he supports the closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility. (Jurist, Nov. 5)