WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice today announced that two detainees have been transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the custody and control of the government of Italy.
As directed by the President’s Jan. 22, 2009 Executive Order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of each of these cases. As a result of that review, these detainees were approved for transfer from Guantanamo Bay. In accordance with Congressionally-mandated reporting requirements, the Administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer each of these detainees at least 15 days before their transfer.
Earlier today, Abel Ben Mabrouk bin Hamida Boughanmi and Mohammed Tahir Riyadh Nasseri, both of Tunisia, were transferred to the government of Italy. Both detainees are the subject of outstanding arrest warrants in Italy and will be prosecuted there. The United States is grateful to the government of Italy for helping achieve President Obama’s directive to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
These transfers were carried out pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding concluded by Attorney General Eric Holder and Italian Justice Minister Angelino Alfano in September. The United States has coordinated with the government of Italy to ensure the transfers take place under appropriate security measures and will continue to consult with the government of Italy regarding these detainees.
Since 2002, more than 550 detainees have departed Guantanamo Bay for other destinations, including Albania, Algeria, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belgium, Bermuda, Chad, Denmark, Egypt, France, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Palau, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom and Yemen.