Gitmo prisoner declines transfer out of prison

Story highlights

  • Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah, an Egyptian, was transferred to Bosnia, while Abd Al-Aziz Abdallah Ali-Suwaydi, a Yemeni, was transferred to Montenegro
  • But Mohammed Bwazir, another Yemeni cleared for transfer, declined release because he feared going to a country where he did not have any family, the Miami Herald reported

Washington (CNN)The Pentagon announced the transfer of two detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison Thursday, but a third detainee refused the terms of his release.

Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed Al Sawah, an Egyptian, was transferred to Bosnia, while Abd Al-Aziz Abdallah Ali-Suwaydi, a Yemeni, was transferred to Montenegro. Both men had been held at the detention facility for more than 13 years.
But Mohammed Bwazir, another Yemeni cleared for transfer, declined release because he feared going to a country where he did not have any family, the Miami Herald reported.
    "We cannot discuss the details of a detainee's decision not to accept resettlement in a third country, other than to note that he declined to accept the offer for resettlement," Pentagon spokesman Gary Ross said in a statement.
    "The detainee remains approved for transfer," he added.
    Defense officials say there is not a particular timeline on when specific detainees will be transferred from Guantanamo, also known as Gitmo, but continue to work toward reducing the prisoner population and ultimately closing the facility.
    With the latest announcement, 91 detainees remain at Guantanamo Bay.
    In December, the Pentagon notified Congress that Defense Secretary Ashton Carter had approved the transfer of 17 detainees, which would have brought the population to 90.