The Justice Department today announced that two detainees have been transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the control of the Government of Switzerland. The Swiss Government, with the support of the Canton of Jura, accepted the two Chinese nationals of Uighur ethnicity for resettlement in Switzerland.
These detainees, who were subject to release from Guantanamo Bay as a result of court orders, had been approved for release by the prior Administration, which determined that it would no longer treat them as enemy combatants. As directed by the President’s Jan. 22, 2009 Executive Order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force subsequently conducted a comprehensive review of each of the detainees. As a result of that review, these detainees were approved for transfer or release 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 in advance of their transfer.
The United States is grateful to the Government of Switzerland and the Canton of Jura for their willingness to support U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. This transfer was carried out under an arrangement between the United States and the Government of Switzerland. The United States and the Government of Switzerland will continue consultations regarding these individuals.
Since 2002, more than 580 detainees have departed Guantanamo Bay for other destinations, including Albania, Algeria, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belgium, Bermuda, Chad, Denmark, Egypt, France, Georgia, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Palau, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Somalia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom and Yemen. Today, 183 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay.