U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday said there should be no more prisoner releases from the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield’’, Trump said.
President Barack Obama had sought to close the prison since he entered office in 2009, but has been unable to carry out the plan in the face of opposition from Congress.
Obama, in Nov. 2016, announced renewed plans for closing the facility in 2017, indicating he would release more prisoners in the final weeks of his term in office, which ends on Jan. 20.
The population at the prison has gradually decreased in light of the president’s long-standing goal of closing it.
There are currently 59 prisoners there, down from 105 at this time last year.
The last prisoner release occurred December 4.
Many of the detainees at the prison have not been formally charged.
Additionally, 23 of them have been cleared for release by the Periodic Review Board, a Committee made up of representatives of several U.S. government departments.
The committee has determined that they present no meaningful threat to the security of the U.S. and can be returned to their home country or another country.
But 10 prisoners at Guantanamo have been charged with crimes, and the U.S. military commission has ongoing proceedings against them.
Last month, the commission announced another round of pre-trial hearings in the death penalty case against Khalid Sheikh Mohammad beginning on Jan. 25.
Mohammad is charged as the alleged mastermind in the September 11, 2001, attacks.