Oman said Monday it accepted 10 inmates from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay ahead of President Barack Obama leaving office, part of his efforts to shrink the facility he promised to close.
Oman confirmed on Monday morning that it had accepted the 10 inmates upon a request by Obama himself.
“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,” Reuters reported, quoting a statement by the sultanate’s foreign ministry.
The statement did not disclose the names or the nationality of the prisoners.
The development came days after the Pentagon announced that it had cleared 19 of the remaining 55 prisoners at the facility for release before the end of Obama’s second term in the White House.
Last Thursday, four of the inmates were sent to Saudi Arabia after being imprisoned for 14 years over having ties with the al-Qaeda terror group. The US government never charged the inmates for their alleged crimes.
Obama has failed to keep his 2008 presidential campaign promise to close the prison due to strong opposition by Republicans.
Calling the facility a “waste of money,” Obama has said repeatedly that Gitmo hurts the US image abroad. The US Senate has confirmed that the prisoners were regularly tortured.
As many as 775 detainees were brought to the prison, which was set up after the September 11, 2001 attacks. None of them were given a chance to defend themselves at court.
Unlike Obama, his successor Donald Trump has indicated that he would keep the prison open and “load it up with some bad dudes.”
While campaigning for the 2016 presidential election, Trump also promised to bring back water-boarding, a torture technique authorized by Washington.