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Fifty-nine prisoners are still being held at the United States' Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba (file photo)

Obama administration officials said they would transfer four detainees to Saudi Arabia from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as part of a final push to shrink the inmate population there.

The Obama White House has defied the wishes of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who wants to keep Guantanamo open, in making plans to transfer what officials said on January 4 could be as many as 19 prisoners to other countries before Trump takes office on January 20.

Only about 40 prisoners will remain at Guantanamo after the transfers, the officials said.

Trump, meanwhile, has vowed to keep the controversial prison open and "load it up with some bad dudes."

"There should be no further releases from Gitmo," he tweeted on January 3. "These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield."

Based on reporting by Reuters, Fox News, and dpa
Last month, Russian human rights campaigners draped a banner calling for Dadin's release from a St. Petersburg bridge.

Russian police have briefly detained six people who staged a protest in Moscow demanding the authorities disclose the whereabouts of jailed activist Ildar Dadin, who has said he was tortured in prison.

The protesters were released after spending about four hours in custody on January 4.

Prominent opposition politician Aleksei Navalny tweeted two photos of a woman whom he described as a lone protester.

One photo depicts the woman holding a placard reading "Where is Ildar Dadin?" and another condemning "torture in Russian concentration camps."

The second photo shows the woman being escorted away by two policemen.

Dadin, 34, became the first Russian citizen jailed for participating in more than two unsanctioned public gatherings in 180 consecutive days under a controversial 2014 law that critics say is part of a redoubled Kremlin effort to stifle dissent during President Vladimir Putin's third term.

Dadin received a three-year sentence in December 2015, and it was later reduced by six months.

Last month, Russian human rights campaigners draped a banner calling for Dadin's release from a St. Petersburg bridge.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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