11:48 GMT20 February 2020
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    Oman has taken 10 former prisoners of the US's notorious Guantanamo Bay facility, its Foreign Ministry announced.

    "To meet a request by the US government to assist in settling the issue of the detainees at Guantanamo, out of consideration of their humanitarian situation, 10 people released from that prison arrived in the Sultanate of Oman for a temporary residency," the January 16 statement, reported by local media, said.

    Earlier in the month, four other former Guantanamo prisoners were sent to Saudi Arabia, bringing the total number of detained down to 55. Of those, 19 had been cleared for release and may be transferred in the final days of US President Barack Obama's administration. Twenty-six of them are being held indefinitely without charge or release, according to Human Rights First, three have been convicted by military commissions and seven are currently being tried.

    Obama campaigned on promises to close the infamous detention center, where prisoners can be held indefinitely without trial. After eight years, he may leave office leaving dozens still in detention, though his transfer efforts have greatly reduced the population. According to the Close Guantanamo website, 779 prisoners have been held in the detention center since it opened in 2002.

    When Obama took office, there were 242 inmates in Guantanamo, according to the New York Times. Human Rights First reports that during the Obama administration, 183 Guantanamo detainees have been transferred, repatriated or sent to third countries.

    Oman has taken Guantanamo prisoners before, accepting six Yemeni former detainees in 2015 and another 10, also Yemenis, in January 2016. Most released Guantanamo prisoners have been sent to Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

    US President-elect Donald Trump has criticized efforts to close down the prison and instead promised to "fill it" with "bad dudes."

    Related:

    'Coarsening the Soul of America': Guantanamo Bay Prison Turns 15
    OSCE PA Calls on US to Shut Down Guantanamo - Human Rights Committee
    Trump: US Gov't Should Allow No More Guantanamo Detainee Transfers
    Tags:
    transfer, detainees, prisoner, Barack Obama, Oman, Guantanamo Bay, United States
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