Six Yemeni Guantanamo detainees transferred to Oman

Washington, June 13 (IANS) The US has transferred six lower-level detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where each were held for over 13 years, the US military announced early on Saturday.

The departures to Oman were the first from the prison in six months and reduced the inmate population to 116, The New York Times reported.

The six men are all Yemenis and have each been held since early 2002 in indefinite detention without trial.

In January 2010, a six-agency task force unanimously recommended that they be transferred, if security conditions could be met in the receiving country. But because of the political upheaval and security chaos in Yemen, they remained stranded till now.

The latest transfers come as the US Congress is debating the annual defence authorisation bill, which continues the ban on bringing detainees on to domestic territory, as well as a series of restrictions lawmakers have imposed on transfers.

The House has passed a version of the bill that would tighten limits in a way that could in effect stop any more releases, including blocking the departure of the 51 men waiting on the transfer list, 43 of whm are Yemenis.

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