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Germany willing to accept Gitmo prisoners

AFP · 29 May 2010, 13:35

Published: 29 May 2010 13:35 GMT+02:00

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Merkel wants Germany to "help the Americans," German weekly Focus reported, saying Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere delivered that message to a recent meeting of officials from the chancellor's Christian Democratic Union party.

The United States has most recently asked Germany to take in three detainees, reportedly a Syrian, a Palestinian and a Jordanian. It was not clear from the report how many detainees Merkel would be willing to accept.

De Maiziere along with local officials in Hamburg and the Brandenburg region have been looking at ways to facilitate detainees' return to normal life, including helping them find jobs and housing, Focus reported.

There are also concerns about their psychological state following years of detention. Several regional officials in Germany have opposed welcoming former Guantanamo detainees as long as the United States refused to allow them on its territory, the magazine said.

Germany last year refused a request to take in two ex-detainees after having already rejected a proposal to accept Chinese Uighur prisoners.

US President Barack Obama had promised to close the prison in Cuba by January, but failed to meet the deadline, partly due to resistance in Congress over transferring some of the inmates to US soil.

Washington has asked allies to help resettle prisoners who have been cleared of all charges but cannot return home, often over fears they may be tortured.

On Saturday, the Washington Post, citing a previously undisclosed

Story continues below…

government document, reported that most detainees held at the US naval base

are low-level guerrilla fighters.

Only about 10 percent of the 240 detainees held at Guantanamo when Obama took office in January 2009 were "leaders, operatives and facilitators involved in plots against the United States," the paper reported. At the start of May, 181 detainees remained in the prison.

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Your comments about this article

16:23 May 29, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
What's wrong with sending them to their own country?!?!? If they're free then seems that is what they would want. Or are they not acceptable citizens in their own homeland?

Looks like another negative strike for Angela...
17:51 May 29, 2010 by pepsionice
Will they be forced to learn German too?

Will they be offered Tatort TV privileges on Sunday evenings?

Will they be given the normal rough German government toilet paper (the sand paper stuff) or will they get the expensive soft toilet paper?

Will they be given fizzy water or normal tap water?
22:01 May 29, 2010 by wenddiver
Send them to their home countries, where they will get speedy trials and executions they deserve from their fellow citizens. Terrorists.
01:04 May 30, 2010 by Frenemy
@wenddiver: once again, I agree with you completely!!
10:15 May 30, 2010 by twisted
Oh great. Three more Muslims. While not biased against Muslims, I rather suspect that these three will not exactly harbor good thoughts about Christians after their less than delightful stay in Guantanamo. Plus you know that the Germany government will keep them under surveillance which costs money and takes police officers from other duties. As for sending them back to their own country, that is a good idea but there they will become heros and probably want to do even more harm. Unfortunately, there are no good answers. Thanks to that idiot Bush.
10:32 May 30, 2010 by dbert4
@wenddiver & Frenemy - Not to let the facts get into the way of the BS. But I guess the fact that these men committed no crime other than being sucked into George Bush's detention system doesn't really matter?
11:55 May 30, 2010 by Frenemy
I'm not spouting BS here brother... (just facts and the occasional opinion or two here and there). ;-)
16:11 May 30, 2010 by Linda Rivera
They most certainly should be sent back to their own countries! Some of the terrorists released from Gitmo returned to terrorism. At least one of them became a top leader. Why should decent, law-abiding Germans have their lives endangered?
17:17 May 30, 2010 by LancashireLad
The problem with anyone coming out of Guantanamo is that we don't actually know whether or not they really were a security threat - the article says all charges have been dropped - or whether or not they were just victims of the paranoia created by the Bush adminstration - the article says all charges have been dropped.

If the US locked them up and made potentially dangerous people out of them, then the US should pick up the pieces. Why should anyone else do that?
12:26 May 31, 2010 by Frenemy
@LancashireLad: yep. but don't you think its best to err on the side of caution?
12:51 May 31, 2010 by William Thirteen
despicable. when do we see the Cheney/Bush war crimes trial again?
16:17 May 31, 2010 by LancashireLad
Exactly, Frenemy. Caution should be erred on the west side of the Atlantic.

Does the US also intend to pay for the rehabilitation of these people once off US soil? If they have been cleared of all charges, there should be no problem accepting them onto US soil ..... or am I being naive again?
05:36 June 1, 2010 by wenddiver
Agree with Frenemy. When dealing with terrorists caution is the password. I don't know of anything anybody could do to you that would "make" a person a terrorist. The EU wants them out, let'em have them.

Most are going back to be terrorists at the first opportunity. Go ahead apease them, your country.
11:01 June 1, 2010 by michael4096
but don't you think its best to err on the side of caution?
Yep! Anyone suspected of a crime should be summararily shot, just in case!

(unless, of course, his name is Frenemy)
20:38 June 1, 2010 by Frenemy
@michael4096: was that sarcasm? if I were a terrorist, (and then somehow managed to have had a "moment of clarity"), trust me bruv, I would shoot my own damned self in the head...(killing innocent civies is utterly despicable, and there ain't any excuse for it, ever!)
23:58 June 1, 2010 by wxman
Frenemy, you do realize you're peeing up a rope, don't you??
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