MIAMI (AP) — A former review process for dozens of men held at Guantanamo Bay without charge has begun as part of an effort to close the prison, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
Officials from several government agencies, including the State Department and Department of Homeland Security, will re-evaluate previous determinations that some of the men held on the U.S. base in Cuba are too dangerous to release, the Department of Defense said in a statement.
The government has previously said that about 46 of the 164 prisoners at Guantanamo are being held in indefinite detention under international law. That generally means they can be detained until hostilities end, a fuzzy endpoint that has been challenged by human rights groups who have called for the men to be released.
Under the new Periodic Review Board process, the government will review the case files of the men and determine if circumstances have changed and they can now be released. The men will be represented at a hearing by a military officer but can also hire an attorney as well. They will be entitled to a new in-person review every three years, the government said.
President Barack Obama vowed to close the prison upon taking office but was thwarted by Congress, which imposed restrictions on releasing or transferring prisoners off the base.