US repatriates two Algerian Guantanamo detainees

US repatriates two Algerian Guantanamo detainees

Washington - Two detainees were sent home to Algeria from the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay on Thursday, despite the prisoners' protests that they face persecution there.

The Pentagon said Djamel Saiid Ali Ameziane and Bensayah Belkecem were transferred from the prison after a review "examined a number of factors, including security issues."

"The United States coordinated with the government of Algeria to ensure these transfers took place with appropriate security and humane treatment assurances," it said.

The transfers were the latest in a series stemming from President Barack Obama's much-delayed efforts to meet his vow to finally shut down the US detention centre in Cuba.

With the departures, the number of inmates at Guantanamo has been whittled down to 162, nearly 12 years after the facility was opened at a US naval base on the southeastern tip of the island.

"We are making progress on the president's commitment to close Guantanamo, and we look forward to continued progress on many fronts," said Cliff Sloan, the State Department's special envoy for Guantanamo closure.

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