RIYADH, (Agencies) – Sixteen Saudis returned home on Thursday after the United States 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 Muslim kingdom, a key U.S. 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.
Many of the men held at Guantanamo were captured in Afghanistan in the U.S.-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.
SPA provided the following list of names of the released detainees:
1-Abdel-hadi Abdullah Ibrahim al-Sharikh
2-Abdulrazzaq Abdullah Ibrahim al-Sharikh
3-Fahd Atiyyah Hamza al-Harazi
4-Rami Saad Ghalib al-Juaid
5-Abdel-Hakeem Abdel-Karim Ameen Bukhari
6-Khalid Hassan Hussein al-Barakati al-Shareef
7-Majed Abdullah Saeed Baryan
8-Mohammed Mubarak Salim AL-Kerbi
9-Abdullah Thani Fares al-Salami al-Anazi
10-Zain Zahir Zain al-Fideili al-Shammari
11-Abdulaziz Saad Mohammed AL-Oshan
12-Mousa Ali Saeed al-Saeed al-Omari
13-Salim Abdullah Saeed al-Biheish al-Shihri
14-Fahd Mohammed Abdullah al-Fozan
15-Omran Bakr Mohammed Hosawi
16-Bakri Awad Bakri al-Sameeri