Guantanamo detainee sent to Belgium
U.S. still has 221 prisoners at controversial facility as 2010 closing date looms
The Belgian government says a former detainee of the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay has arrived in the country and will be granted residency.
U.S. President Barack Obama's administration transferred the detainee at the request of the Belgian government.
Belgium's Foreign Ministry said Friday the released detainee arrived earlier this week "as a free man, where all necessary measures have been taken to ensure a smooth integration in society." Belgian officials did not provide the man's name or nationality.
On Thursday, the U.S. also sent a Kuwaiti, Khaled Al Mutairi, back to his home country. He had been taken into custody in 2001 and accused of being a member of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, an accusation his lawyers denied.
The transfers bring the total number of detainees moved out of the prison since Obama took office to 20, leaving 221 inmates still at the facility in Cuba.
Obama, who on Friday received the Nobel Peace Prize for his diplomatic efforts, pledged on his second day on the job last January to close Guantanamo Bay by January 2010.
The prison, opened in 2002 to house captives from the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, has held more than 750 people at one time or another, many for years and the vast majority without charge.
The prison has faced widespread criticism, with organizations ranging from the Red Cross to the U.S. Justice Department and senior Pentagon officials acknowledging that some inmates were tortured.
With files from The Associated Press