• Germany's news in English

Ex-Gitmo inmates arrive

The Local · 16 Sep 2010, 15:39

Published: 16 Sep 2010 15:39 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In July, after months of deliberation, Germany agreed to accept the pair in response to US President Barack Obama request for allies' help to close the prison in Cuba.

"The two former Guantanamo prisoners have now arrived in Germany," de Maiziere said in a statement, adding that they touched down "in the middle of this week."

The first, a stateless 34-year-old man of Palestinian origin, landed in Hamburg in northern Germany. The second man, from Syria, arrived in the south-western region of Rhineland-Palatinate.

"The regional authorities concerned have promised to do everything to allow the two people a new start in Germany," said de Maiziere.

Both had expressed the wish not to be hounded by the media, he added. "After nearly nine years in Guantanamo, this is understandable and we should all respect this," the minister said.

The Palestinian was detained in 2001 in Afghanistan and has been interned without charge in Guantanamo since 2002. He has expressed a desire to raise a family in Germany, said regional authorities in Hamburg. He will not be under police supervision, they added. Officials in Rhineland-Palatinate provided no details about the second man.

Late last year, the United States asked Germany to take in three detainees. A German delegation travelled to Guantanamo in March and spoke with the men. On the basis of these interviews, de Maiziere said he accepted two but rejected the third candidate, giving no further details.

Marianne Heuwagen of Human Rights Watch Germany commended the decision in July 2010, saying that she hoped that other countries would follow Germany’s example.

Story continues below…

Berlin's decision followed months of heated public debate and de Maiziere said at the time that Germany has no intention of accepting further detainees. US President Barack Obama pledged to shut down the military prison by January after it became a symbol for excesses in the US war on terror.

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. However, their reluctance has been a key obstacle in closing the site.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

19:52 September 16, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Germany has done the humane and politically courageous thing. I wish more countries, including my own, would follow this example. The damage done by the Bushies will last for generations.

Flame away.
23:45 September 16, 2010 by wxman
No flames, just "Over to you!".
00:52 September 17, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Too cryptic for me, I'm afraid.
03:50 September 17, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Police supervision? Of course not.

However, you can be certain that the Verfassungsschutz has at least 6 people assigned to each of these guys for the next 30 years.
12:16 September 17, 2010 by tallady
"after months of deliberation",and a request from the US president,Germany took two,!, I think pressured not courageous is the better choice,,
14:01 September 17, 2010 by 77kart
You [Europeans] wanted them. Now you've got them. Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ....
19:26 September 17, 2010 by fair1day
Main-stream these dudes, and watch them blow something up.....

So much for being "open-minded". You guys better wake up.
20:57 September 17, 2010 by aelfheld
Mohamed Mohamed el-Amir Awad el-Sayed Atta, The Sequel.
01:58 September 18, 2010 by padu
I wonder how come USA can always manage to escape from its crimes, unpunished, or with Germans punished.
Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd