The Justice Department on Friday for the first time disclosed the names of detainees at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who have been approved for transfer but whose release has been delayed.
“Today’s release is a partial victory for transparency, and it should also be a spur to action. These men have now spent three years in prison since our military and intelligence agencies all agreed they should be released,” said Zachary Katznelson, senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project.
In 2010, the Guantanamo Review Task Force approved 126 prisoners for transfer. Their release was based on the Obama administration’s ability to resettle them in their home countries or elsewhere. Separately, U.S. officials said a large number of detainees from Yemen could not be repatriated because of security concerns there.
The list released Friday includes only the names of detainees approved for transfer but not those recommended for indefinite detention, conditional detention or prosecution. The ACLU has sought those names in a Freedom of Information request. Katznelson said the group had received only a letter from the Department of Defense indicating that there were 1,225 open requests ahead of that one.
The transferable detainees include 24 Yemenis, all three remaining Uighurs, and five remaining Tunisians.
Currently, 167 detainees are being held at Guantanamo Bay. Three have been transferred out of the prison this year. Adnan Latif, a Yemeni detainee who died in his cell earlier this month, did not appear on the government’s list, although he had been repeatedly approved for transfer.