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Obama makes Gitmo releases before Trump takes power

President Obama has committed to transferring prisoners from Guantanamo before leaving office on Friday. Credit: PA

Oman has announced it has given "temporary residency" to 10 prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay as Barack Obama continues his push to shrink the prison's population before leaving the White House.

President Obama pledged to shut the base down at the controversial Cuba-based US military prison when he campaigned for the presidency in 2008.

He last secured the release of prisoners in August 2016 before Oman's foreign ministry confirmed the latest transfer in a statement.

To meet a request by the US government to assist in settling the issue of the detainees at Guantanamo, out of consideration of their humanitarian situation, 10 people released from that prison arrived in the Sultanate of Oman for a temporary residency.

– Oman's foreign ministry

The outgoing president's declared commitment to transfers from 'Gitmo' earlier this month remains in direct opposition to his successor, who tweeted:

Further prisoners 'to be released' from Guantanamo Bay

President Obama pledged to shut down Guantanamo Bay Credit: AP

More prisoners are to be released from Guantanamo Bay before Barack Obama finishes his tenure as President, the White House expects.

Roughly 60 prisoners remain in the controversial US military prison based on Cuba.

President Obama pledged to shut the base down when he campaigned for the presidency in 2008, and last secured the release of prisoners in August 2016.

The White House announcement of further transfers came just hours after President-elect Donald Trump said he believed no more prisoners should be allowed to leave "Gitmo."



Gitmo prisoners could move to US in coming months

President Obama hopes to transfer a first wave of the last of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners to America in the coming months as part of plans to finally shut down the notorious prison in Cuba.

The US could transfer 35 prisoners to American soil in the coming months and up to 60 by the end of the year, officials from the Obama administration said as the plans were submitted to Congress.

President Obama has repeatedly pledged to close Guantanamo Bay but has proven unable to fulfill the commitment during his time in office. Credit: Reuters

A Pentagon plan to close Guantanamo lists 13 US-based facilities which could be used for the transfers.

Officials said a one-time cost of closing the notorious facility and moving prisoners ranges from $290 million to $475 million (£205m - £337m).

The Obama administration hopes to work with Congress to change the law to allow the transfers of prisoners, though administration officials warned time is of the essence.

'I felt frozen for 14 years - I just want my life back'

Shaker Aamer told ITV News he felt like he was "frozen for 14 years" being detained without charge at Guantanamo.

He said: "I know everyone thinks I'm a very strong person. I try so hard to act normal. It's hard.

"There's no better feeling than freedom. I thank my Lord that I am back with my wife and my kids."

Shaker Aamer: We felt like rats in a box at Guantanamo

Shaker Aamer has told ITV News he felt like a "rat in a box" during his time at Guantanamo Bay.

He said he felt like he was an "animal there for an experiment" and described being beaten, hog-tied and deprived of being able to pray.

"As soon as they knew it was time for prayer they [the guards] would turn the music up and start playing Born In The USA, Bruce Springsteen," he said.

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