16 Saudis return from Guantanamo Bay
Riyadh, September 6, 2007
Sixteen Saudis returned home on Thursday after the US released them from a prison camp at Guantanamo Bay where foreign terrorism suspects are held.
The Saudi state news agency SPA said Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz "expressed his relief and appreciation for the cooperation shown by the authorities in the United States, hoping this leads to the return of the remaining Saudis."
Saudi public anger over the treatment of Saudi detainees in Guantanamo Bay has been high in the kingdom, a key US ally. Two Saudis were among three prisoners who hanged themselves at the naval base in June.
Washington is reducing the numbers of people detained at Guantanamo Bay to move towards closing the camp, but SPA did not say how many Saudis remain there.
Many of the men held at Guantanamo were captured in Afghanistan in the US-led war to oust the Taliban after the Sept. 11 attacks. Many have been held for years, most of them without charge.
Washington has designated Guantanamo prisoners "enemy combatants", denying them the prisoner of war status that would guarantee them certain rights under international law. - Reuters