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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 07:34 GMT 08:34 UK
US releases more Guantanamo names
File picture of detainees at Guantanamo Bay
Some inmates have been at the detention camp since 2002
The United States has released the most comprehensive list yet of those held in Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.

A list released by the Pentagon on Wednesday contains the names of 558 men from 41 countries who were assessed by military tribunals at the camp.

The majority of those under detention are from Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Afghanistan, the list shows.

The move came as a result of a Freedom of Information challenge by the Associated Press news agency.

Tribunals process

The release is the first official list of Guantanamo detainees who appeared before tribunals to assess whether they should remain under detention.

GUANTANAMO INMATES
Saudi Arabia: 132
Afghanistan: 125
Yemen: 107
Other: 194

The hearings, which took place between July 2004 and January 2005, were held after the US Supreme Court ruled inmates had the right to contest their detention.

According to the list, of the 558 who went through the process, 132 came from Saudi Arabia, 125 from Afghanistan and 107 from Yemen. There were more than 20 inmates from both Algeria and China.

The list includes well-known names such as Australian David Hicks, captured in Afghanistan in 2001, who faces charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism.

The presence of Saudi national Mohammed al-Qahtani, who officials say sought entry to the US to participate in the 11 September 2001 attacks, was also officially confirmed.

Many of those named have been held at the camp for more than four years.

Transparency

On 3 March, the Pentagon released names of many of the Guantanamo detainees, also in response to a Freedom of Information request.

However, the names did not appear as a simple list, but were included within 6,000 pages of tribunal transcripts posted on its website.

Further documents were released in April in what a Pentagon spokesman called "an attempt to be transparent".

The BBC's Sarah Morris in Washington says the release comes amid wide criticism of the almost total secrecy surrounding the detention centre.

Around 490 detainees remain in Guantanamo Bay, which opened in January 2002.




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