Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, October 31, 2009
United States Transfers Six Uighur Detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Palau

Six detainees who are Chinese nationals of Uighur ethnicity have been transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the control of the Republic of Palau.

Ahmad Tourson, Abdul Ghappar Abdul Rahman, Edham Mamet, Anwar Hassan, Dawut Abdurehim and Adel Noori were resettled in Palau earlier today.

These detainees, who were subject to release from Guantanamo Bay as a result of court orders, had been cleared 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.

These transfers were carried out under an arrangement between the United States and the Republic of Palau. The United States has coordinated with the Republic of Palau to ensure the transfers take place under appropriate security measures and will continue to consult with the Republic of Palau regarding the individuals.

"As we near the completion of our review of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, we will continue to work closely with the Department of State to implement transfer decisions, and we are grateful to the Republic of Palau for its assistance in the resettlement of these individuals," said Matthew Olsen, Executive Director of the Guantanamo Review Task Force.

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, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom and Yemen. 

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