More Guantanamo Detainees Sent Home

In addition to the six detainees who arrived back in their home country of Yemen yesterday, six others were sent to Afhanistan and the Somali region:

Those released are:

* Afghans Abdul Hafiz, Sharifullah, Mohamed Rahim and Mohammed Hashim.
* Somali detainees Mohammed Soliman Barre and Ismael Arale.
* Yemenis Jamal Muhammad Alawi Mari, Farouq Ali Ahmed, Ayman Saeed Abdullah Batarfi, Muhammaed Yasir Ahmed Taher, Fayad Yahya Ahmed al Rami and Riyad Atiq Ali Abdu al Haf.

A Tunisian detainee, Moez Ben Abdelkader Fezzani, also known as Abou Nassim, was sent to Italy where he will be tried on terror charges for recruiting Afghan fighters.

198 detainees remain. About 100 will be sent to Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois, some of whom will be tried by military commission. [More...]

Switzerland has said it will take one detainee from Uzbekistan.

As to the rest, President Obama has said he now expects Gitmo to be empty sometime in 2010. As to his abandoned January deadline, he offers, " [H]e realized that things move more slowly in Washington than he expected."

While Obama is making progress, he hasn't yet ruled out indefinite detention without charges for either the 100 being transferred to Thomson or the 90 or so detainees he has not yet found a country willing to accept transfer.

Meanwhile, at Supermax in Florence, shoe-bomber Richard Reid has had some restrictions lifted for good behavior and been moved from isolation to the general population:

Reid, sentenced to life for trying to blow up a jumbo jet in 2001 with explosives in his shoes, was moved from a special isolation unit of the so-called Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, into another area where his mail and contacts with visitors and other inmates are subject to less scrutiny.

His conditions were relaxed in June after he filed a court challenge and went on a hunger strike. In August he moved to the general population. With good behavior, the British-born follower of Osama bin Laden might be transferred in future years to a less secure prison facility, court papers said.

The difference:

For the first 6 1/2 years of his sentence, Reid was confined 23 hours a day in Supermax to a 75.5-square-foot (7-square meter) cell and had virtually no contact with the outside world beyond his lawyers and immediate family members.

Now he can talk with other inmates without monitoring, order books and magazines with prison approval, receive non-family visits and speak with the media.

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