The Department of Defense announced Thursday that it will release two Guantanamo Bay prisoners to Algeria as part of an ongoing effort to close the controversial prison.
Djamel Saiid Ali Ameziane and Bensayah Belkecem will head back to their home country now that their cases have been looked over by Guantanamo Review Task Force.
“As a result of that review, which examined a number of factors, including security issues, these men were designated for transfer by consensus of the six departments and agencies comprising the task force,” a Defense Department statement reads. “In accordance with congressionally-mandated reporting requirements, the administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer these individuals.”
The prisoners reportedly objected to their transfer, citing fear of persecution in Algeria.
White House spokesman Jay Carney called for the release of both prisoners to Algeria in July.
“As the President has said, the United States remains determined to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay,” Carney said at a press briefing.
162 prisoners remain at the Guantanamo Bay prison, according to the Pentagon.