Guantanamo Bay now holds 142 prisoners after the U.S. government released Muhammad al-Zahrani. On Saturday the Pentagon confirmed that al-Zahrani was sent to his homeland as decided by a parole-like board. The board have been decided what prisoners are necessary to continue detaining.
“A total of 13 detainees have been transferred this year,” Paul Lewis, Special Envoy for Guantanamo Detention Closure said in Saturday’s statement. He added, “This strikes a responsible balance and reflects the careful deliberation the Secretary of Defense brings to the transfer process, and follows a rigorous process in the interagency to review several items including security review prior to any transfer.”
al-Zahrani has spent the past 12 years detained at Guantanamo Bay. Currently, the U.S. is attempting to decrease the number of prisoners at the base in Cuba.
According to officials, additional releases will be made in the coming weeks.