Senate Committee Praises Saudi Efforts to Rehabilitate Guantanamo Bay detainees

July 9, 2009

[Washington, DC] – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was commended in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee for the government’s effective efforts to rehabilitate and deradicalize recently released Guantanamo Bay detainees. The comments came during a Committee hearing on July 7. Under the direction of the Minister of Interior, Saudi Arabia has institutionalized a comprehensive rehabilitation program to prepare former detainees for reintegration into the society.

“It is absolutely essential that when we transfer these people to foreign countries that we do so under conditions that ensure safety.  And the rehabilitation program that the Saudis have is an excellent program, from what I understand,” testified Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the Department of Justice, David S. Kris.

General Counsel of the Department of Defense, Jeh C. Johnson echoed this sentiment. In response to a question from Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), Johnson stated: “The safety of the American people is the upmost concern, so we believe strongly that rehabilitation programs like the one you referred to are something that we should encourage, promote and it is something that we are very focused on.”

Saudi Arabia is committed to developing, implementing and refining innovative and effective ways to combat terrorism and extremism both reactively and proactively. The Kingdom understands the importance of combating extremism globally as well as locally and has worked with its international partners to coordinate activities, including the rehabilitation of former detainees.