The US Department of Justice announced Jan. 22 that two Guantánamo Bay detainees have been transferred to Algeria. Hassan Zumiri had spent more than seven years in the Guantánamo detention center, while Adil Hadi al-Jazairi bin Hamlili had been held for five. Both men are Algerian nationals, bringing the total number of Algerians released from Guantánamo to 19. The transfer comes amid criticisms from Republican Congress members after a Department of Defense official stated recently that about one in five detainees have returned to terrorist activities, according to a classified Pentagon report.
Earlier this week, Slovakia’s foreign ministry confirmed that Slovakia will be accepting three detainees currently being held at Guantánamo Bay. Closure of the detention facility was initially due by January 22, 2010, but that deadline was not met. The administration has run into several hurdles in closing the prison, including opposition from members of Congress and the recent suspension of detainee transfers to Yemen. In November, the Center for American Progress issued a report blaming missteps by the Obama administration for the delay. (Jurist, Jan. 22)