RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – The Saudi government said Tuesday it had released 18 men who were detained after returning to their homeland from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay.
The Saudis, who returned to the kingdom in May and June, were released after they finished their sentences, Interior Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Mansour al-Turki said. His comments, which did not specify the men's alleged crimes, came in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
Last week the kingdom freed 11 ex-detainees from Guantanamo who had completed short sentences after their return.
Saudi officials have said former Guantanamo inmates are taken into custody on their return to investigate whether they have any connections to Islamic militant groups.
So far, 53 Saudis have been released from Guantanamo — all this year. Another 75 Saudis remain at the prison in Cuba, according to Kateb al-Shimri, a lawyer who represents relatives of Saudis held at the U.S. base.