Two Gitmo detainees transferred to Serbia

Two Gitmo detainees transferred to Serbia
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Two Guantánamo Bay detainees have been transferred to Serbia, the Pentagon announced Monday, bringing the prisoner population at the facility down to 76.

The transfers come a day after one detainee was sent to Italy.

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“The United States is grateful to the government of Serbia for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing U.S. efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” the Pentagon said in a written statement. “The United States coordinated with the government of Serbia to ensure this transfer took place consistent with appropriate security and humane treatment measures.”

Muhammadi Davlatov, 37, of Tajikistan, had been in U.S. custody since 2002. Davlatov, also known as Omar Abdulayev, was an admitted member of the Islamic Movement of Tajikistan and had reported associations with senior al Qaeda operatives, according to a military file published by The New York Times.

Mansur Ahmad Saad al-Dayfi, a Yemeni in his mid-30s, also came to Guantánamo in 2002. Al-Dayfi, who is also known as Abdul Rahman Ahmed, was an admitted commander of al Qaeda tasked with evacuating front-line forces during hostilities between U.S. forces and Osama bin Laden’s 55th Arab Brigade, according to military files.

Neither Davlatov nor al-Dayfi were charged with a crime during their detention at Guantánamo.

Davlatov was cleared for transfer by unanimous consent of the Guantanamo Review Task Force in 2009, according to the Pentagon.

Al-Dayfi, meanwhile, was cleared in October 2015 by consensus of the six departments that make up the Periodic Review Board, according to the Pentagon.

These are the first detainees Serbia has taken in.

“This significant humanitarian gesture is consistent with Serbia’s leadership on the global stage," the State Department said in written statement.