US names all 759 Guantanamo Bay prisoners

Rupert Cornwell
Wednesday 17 May 2006 00:00
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The Pentagon released the names yesterday of all 759 people who have been held at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba since it opened in 2002 - including 201 people whose identity has never been revealed.

The detainees come from more than 40 countries, and range in age from their teens to over 70. Of the total, 220 are from Afghanistan, 134 from Saudi Arabia, 94 from Yemen and 57 from Pakistan. There are also 20 Algerians, 17 Chinese and seven Russians.

The list includes eight Britons: Feroz Ali Abassi, 26, Shafiq Rasul, 33, Asif Iqbal, 25, Rhuhel Ahmed, 25, Jamal Malik al-Harith, 39, Moazzam Begg, 37, Richard Dean Belmar, 26, and Martin John Mubanga, 33. All have been returned to Britain.

The latest list, obtained by the Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, expands on a similar list made public last month. The new names cover people, mostly Afghans, released by the Pentagon before the start of hearings in summer 2004 to establish whether prisoners were in fact "enemy combatants" who qualified to be held at Guantanamo Bay.

The US military says the camp contains some 480 detainees, after the release or transfer of 275. But the data gives little clue of who is still in the prison. Nor did the Pentagon agree to release photos of detainees, or details of their height and weight - relevant information after recent hunger strikes at the camp.

Guantanamo has come under growing criticism in recent months, but the Bush administration continues to resist demands that it be closed. The Pentagon claims it must continue to hold some prisoners who are of no intelligence value, either because their countries of origin will not accept them, or their safety cannot be assured.

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