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Friday
Apr202012

Gitmo Detainees Transferred to El Salvador

John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Two Uighur detainees were released from the detainee center at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Facility to El Salvador Thursday, the first detainees transferred from the facility in more than a year and the first such transfer to Latin America.

As a presidential candidate, President Obama famously promised to close down the detainee center at Guantanamo -- as did his then-opponent, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. -- but Democrats and Republicans in Congress have prevented him from doing so.

As of Friday, 169 detainees remain at Guantanamo. The Obama administration has judged 46 of them candidates for indefinite detention -- too dangerous to transfer to another country, according to the administration, and their cases not feasible for prosecution because evidence against them may be tainted. The other 123 are candidates for transfer to other countries or prosecution here or abroad.

The two detainees now in El Salvador -- Abdul Razak and Ahmed Mohamed -- are Uighurs, members of a Turkic Muslim minority from the Xinjiang province of far western China.  

There were 242 detainees at Gitmo when President Obama took office.  Sixty-nine have since been transferred to other countries, including other Uighurs to Palao.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio