Wednesday, October 31, 2007

[wvns] Saudi Prince Gives Guantanamo Returnees Eid Gift

Saudi Guantanamo Returnees Get Eid Gift

RIYADH (AFP) — Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz has
given 2,700 dollars each to 55 Saudis who were formerly held at the US
detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, a newspaper reported Saturday.

The ex-Guantanamo inmates who are still being held in Saudi Arabia
received 10,000 riyals (nearly 2,700 dollars) each on the minister's
orders after being released from jail on Tuesday to spend the upcoming
Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr with their families, Okaz said.

They will return to jail after the Eid pending the completion of
judicial procedures against them.

The 55 are among 93 Saudi ex-Guantanamo detainees repatriated by US
authorities. The rest have since been released from Saudi prisons.

Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the current Muslim fasting month
of Ramadan, will start on October 12 or 13 depending on the sighting
of a new moon.

Okaz said that Assistant Interior Minister Prince Mohammad bin Nayef,
the minister's son, has also offered to cover the wedding expenses of
any former Saudi inmate of Guantanamo wishing to marry, including
furniture for a new home.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia, which has been battling suspected Al-Qaeda
militants since 2003, often helps former suspects financially in a bid
to reintegrate them in society and encourage them to shun violence.

Thirty-seven Saudis remain incarcerated at the notorious prison camp
in Cuba, which the United States set up after the September 11, 2001
attacks to hold prisoners rounded up in Afghanistan and elsewhere as
part of its global anti-terror campaign.

Some 330 detainees of an original 800 are still being held without
charge in Guantanamo.



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