6 Gitmo Detainees Headed to Uruguay

    In this photo reviewed by the U.S. Military, a guard leans on a fencepost as a Guantanamo detainee (L) jogs inside the exercise yard at Camp 5 detention center, at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, January 21, 2009. President Barack Obama may set a one-year deadline to close the controversial U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to an unsigned draft executive order that may bolster the U.S. image abroad. Obama pledged during his election campaign to shutter the prison camp, which became a blot on the United States' human rights record and a symbol of detainee abuse and detention without charge under the Bush administration.  REUTERS/Brennan Linsley/Pool (CUBA) - RTR23PLY

    Pool photo by Brennan Linsley

    A total of six low-level Guantánamo Bay detainees will be sent to Uruguay as early as next month. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel secretly notified Congress, and all six have been approved for transfer for more than four years. The move had been stalled in the political turmoil over a prisoner-exchange deal that secured Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release. The six men include a Syrian man who was challenging the Pentagon’s force-feeding policy for those on hunger strike. “The United States is grateful to our partner, Uruguay, for this significant humanitarian gesture, and appreciates the Uruguayan government’s generous assistance as the United States continues its efforts to close the detention facility at Guantánamo,” said a State Department spokesman. The group will be the largest to leave the prison since 2009, and will bring the population there down to 143. Within that number, 72 have been recommended for transfer, 71 have not. 

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