Two Guantanamo detainees released to Saudi Arabia

BY newsdesk  December 16, 2013 at 1:21 PM EST

Shackles line the floor of a classroom at Guantanamo Bay prison. Photo by Larisa Epatko/PBS NewsHour.

The Defense Department announced Monday that it released two prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the government of Saudi Arabia — part of its ongoing effort to process detainees and eventually close the U.S. facility in Cuba. Of the detention facility’s 160 remaining prisoners, about 80 are cleared for release but the administration has yet to find countries to accept them.

The two detainees sent to Saudi Arabia are Saad Muhammad Husayn Qahtani and Hamood Abdulla Hamood.

“The United States is grateful to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” the Defense Department statement reads. “The United States coordinated with the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to ensure these transfers took place with appropriate security and humane treatment assurances.”

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