Oman accepts 10 Guantanamo prisoners

By Ashton Leber
Social Media Editor

The Arab nation of Oman has accepted 10 inmates from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, informally known as “Gitmo” during the final days of the Obama administration, according to NPR.

According to ABC News, the detainees, whose names and nationalities remain unknown, were released to Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs at a request from former President Barack Obama.

This release comes in lieu of Obama’s promise to shut down the prison via an executive order within one year after his inauguration in 2009, according to CNN .

Washington Post reported congress prevented the closing of the facility and would not allow the prisoners from Guantanamo to be relocated onto U.S. soil.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that “in consideration of their humanitarian situation,” the prisoners will remain in Oman “for a temporary residence,” according to CNN.

While the U.S. government has not made any public statements, an anonymous U.S. defense official has confirmed the transfer, Washington Post reported.

According to Fox News, Guantanamo first opened in Cuba on Jan. 11, 2002, to house those captured during the invasion of Afghanistan under the George W. Bush administration, as fear of terrorism was high due to the 9/11 attacks.

According to Washington Post, the terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks have not been tried yet.

During its peak, there were nearly 700 prisoners at Guantanamo, according to NPR. The report stated 242 detainees remained at the beginning of Obama’s presidency.

Forty five of them are still at the detention facility today, according to CNN.

The prison has been criticized by human rights activists for the treatment of its prisoners. (Twitter)
The prison has been criticized by human rights activists for the treatment of its prisoners. (Twitter)

The Obama administration has relocated several detainees to outside countries, most of which were released to Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, according to Fox News.

A total of 30 former Guantanamo inmates have now been released to Oman, as “four Yemenis were sent there in January 2015, six more in June 2015 and another 10 Yemenis in January 2016,” according to CNN.

The Wall Street Journal stated that Guantanamo Bay has “drawn criticism from human-rights groups and foreign governments over indefinite detentions without charge and the alleged torture of detainees by personnel there.”

The prison operates “outside the U.S. legal framework,” which has caused more criticism from humanitarians and legal experts, according to Washington Post.

NPR reported on President Donald Trump’s differing thoughts from the Obama administration about Guantanamo.

A tweet from Trump on Jan. 3 reads, “There should be no further releases from Gitmo. These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.”

Trump has said the detention facility will remain open and he plans to “load it up with some bad dudes,” Fox News reported.