Nine Yemeni Guantanamo prisoners arrive in Saudi Arabia

File photo of Guantanamo detainee’s feet shackled to the floor as he attends a “Life Skills” class at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base. (Reuters)

Nine Yemeni prisoners from Guantanamo Bay have arrived Saturday in the Saudi capital’s King Khalid International Airport, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

Saudi Arabia is receiving the nine prisoners for resettlement after a request by the Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to do so.

While all nine are Yemeni, they have family ties to Saudi Arabia, the Associated Press reported.

None of the men had been charged and all but one had been cleared for release from the US base in Cuba since at least 2010. One was approved for release by a review board last year.

The prisoners include a frequent hunger striker whose weight had dropped to as low as 74 pounds (34 kilograms) at one point.

The release announced Saturday in a Pentagon statement brings the Guantanamo prisoner population to 80, including 26 cleared men expected to leave by the end of the summer.

“The United States is grateful to the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

(With AP)

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47