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Three detainees from Guantanamo Bay transferred to Georgia

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Monday, November 24
Three detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Salah Mohammed Salih Al-Dhabi, Abdel Ghaib Ahmad Hakim, and Abdul Khaled Al-Baydani were transferred to Georgia.

According to the statement circulated by the Interior Ministry of Georgia, the transfer of former prisoners is absolutely safe.

“At the request of the US, which is Georgia’s strategic partner, the three detainees from Yemen who no longer posed a threat were transferred to Georgia. It is absolutely safe for the former prisoners to live in our country,” stated the ministry.

Georgia’s Deputy Interior Minister Levan Izoria stated that the Interior Ministry takes the responsibility to provide safety for Georgian citizens and transferred prisoners. “The former prisoners will be under observation, but the balance which is needed for their integration into society will be provided,” stated Izoria.

Ambassador of the US to Georgia Richard Norland thanked Georgia for its gesture. “The United States is grateful to the Government of Georgia for its support of ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” stated Norland.

Leader of the Parliament Majority Davit Saganelidze said that this transfer poses serious risks.

Three other detainees were sent to Georgia from Guantanamo Bay in 2010.

According to the former head of the analytical department at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Shota Utiashvili, the transfer in 2010 caused no problems for Georgia. “I am sure that there will be no problem this time either,” Utiashvili stated.

Expert Mamuka Areshidze said that even though the situation in the world with regard to Islamic issues have changed since 2010, the danger this transfer poses is very low.

In total, five detainees at Guantanamo Bay were transferred to the nations of Slovakia or Georgia as part of the U.S. plan to reduce the facility's population of detainees who were suspected of terrorism after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Attorneys for the center thanked Georgia for accepting the prisoners. "We are grateful to Georgia for offering our clients a new home where they can begin to rebuild their life after more than a decade in Guantanamo without charge or trial," reads the statement spread by center.

At the moment, 143 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay.