United States Transfers Two Guantanamo Bay Detainees to Kuwait and Belgium

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice today announced that two detainees have been transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the control of the governments of Kuwait and Belgium.

As directed by the President’s Jan. 22, 2009 Executive Order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of each of these cases. As a result of that review, these detainees were approved for transfer from Guantanamo Bay. In accordance with Congressionally-mandated reporting requirements, the Administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer each of these detainees at least 15 days in advance.

Khalid Abdullah Mishal al Mutairi, a native of Kuwait, was transferred to the Government of Kuwait. On July 29, 2009, a federal court ruled that al Mutairi may no longer be detained under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) and ordered the government to release him from detention at Guantanamo Bay.

Another detainee was transferred from Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Belgium. Pursuant to a request from the Government of Belgium, the identity of this individual is being withheld for privacy reasons.

These transfers were carried out under individual arrangements between the United States and the governments of Kuwait and Belgium. The United States has coordinated with the governments of each of these nations to ensure the transfers take place under appropriate security measures and will continue to consult with these governments regarding these matters.

Since 2002, more than 550 detainees have departed Guantanamo for other countries including Albania, Algeria, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belgium, Bermuda, Chad, Denmark, Egypt, France, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom and Yemen.