U.S. officials commend Saudi Detainee Rehabilitation Program

July 8, 2009

Officials from the U.S. Departments of Defense and Justice commended Saudi Arabia’s Care Rehabilitation Center for detainees during a Congressional hearing on Tuesday. The Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, chaired by Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan), was convened to discuss the legal proceedings against prisoners being held at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

During her remarks, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-North Carolina) called upon the U.S. government to work with Middle Eastern countries with a proven record of successful prisoner rehabilitation and noted the Kingdom’s effective program.  “The Saudis have actually institutionalized a rehabilitation program that is developed by the minister of interior to de-radicalize and rehabilitate the former detainees for reintegration into the society in Saudi Arabia. . . And according to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Saudi Arabia remains one of the most reliable counterterrorism partners in accepting detainees that have transferred from Guantanamo Bay.

Responding to Sen. Hagan comments, Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson remarked that the United States should encourage and promote Saudi-style rehabilitation program.  For his part, David Kris, Assistant Attorney General in the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, described the Saudi rehabilitation program as “excellent.”

Press Release

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