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News Release


IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 180-04
March 15, 2004

Transfer of Afghani and Pakistani Detainees Complete

The Department of Defense announced today it transferred 23 Afghan and three Pakistani detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for release.

The decision to transfer or release a detainee is based on many factors, including whether the detainee is of further intelligence value to the United States and whether he is believed to pose a threat to the United States.

There is a process to review the status of detainees. We make a determination about the detention and release of a detainee based on the best information and evidence we have at the time. The circumstances in which detainees are apprehended can be ambiguous, and many of them are highly skilled in concealing the truth. The process of evaluation and detention is not free of risk--at least one detainee has gone back to the fight.

During the course of the war on terrorism, the department expects there will be other transfers or releases of detainees.

Because of operational and security considerations, no further details can be provided.

Currently, 119 detainees have been released and 12 others have been transferred for continued detention (four to the Saudi Arabian government, one to the Spanish government and seven to the Russian government). As a result of todays release, there are approximately 610 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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