FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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WASHINGTON – The government today released the names of 55 of the prisoners cleared for transfer from the prison at Guantánamo Bay. The prisoners were unanimously approved for transfer by President Obama’s inter-agency Guantánamo Bay Review Task Force, which announced a summary of its findings in January 2010. However, before today the government had said the list could not be released because doing so would hamper efforts to repatriate and resettle prisoners in other countries.
“Today’s release is a partial victory for transparency, and it should also be a spur to action,” said Zachary Katznelson, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project. “These men have now spent three years in prison since our military and intelligence agencies all agreed they should be released. Not on the list, of course, is Adnan Latif, who died in his cell earlier this month despite having been repeatedly approved for release from Guantánamo. It is well past time to release and resettle these unfairly imprisoned men.”
In August, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the identities of the prisoners the task force designated for transfer, prosecution, indefinite and conditional detention. The ACLU has not yet received an official substantive response.
The Guantánamo Bay Task Force included the departments of Justice, Defense, State, and Homeland Security, as well as the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The 55 men listed are apparently not the only prisoners still in Guantánamo who have been approved for transfer. The government stated today that it is moving to vacate orders issued by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that have sealed the identity of other men who have been approved for transfer.
The government’s filing explaining today’s release is at:
The government’s explanation for withholding the list, given in a June 2009 sworn statement by Ambassador Daniel Fried, the State Department’s Special Envoy for the Closure of the Guantánamo Bay Detention Facility, is at:
The ACLU’s FOIA request is at: