US asking Germany to accept 10 Guantanamo detainees: reports

[JURIST] A spokesperson for the German Interior Ministry [official website, in German] said Sunday that the US has asked Germany to take in up to 10 detainees from the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] military prison. The US government reportedly asked [Washington Post report] Germany and other European nations to accept detainees who cannot go back to their home countries but have been given clearance for release by the US government. The German government, like other European countries, is open to the idea but is being cautious and intends to review the detainees files on a case-by-case basis. The request has stirred up some opposition [Der Speigel report] among the German governing coalition members who believe that Germany should not get involved. In order to grant the US request to accept detainees, there must be approval by Germany's 16 interior ministers.

Last week, US Attorney General Eric Holder [official profile] said that the US has cleared 30 Guantanamo Bay detainees for release and will begin formally requesting [JURIST report] that European countries accept them within weeks. In March, top officials from the Obama administration met with leaders from the European Union (EU) [official website] to discuss preliminary plans to transfer [JURIST report] Guantanamo Bay detainees to European countries. Individual member states have also indicated their openness to accepting detainees, including Lithuania, Ireland, Germany, and Portugal [JURIST reports]. Other states have expressed reservations about accepting detainees, including Poland and Spain, while Italy [JURIST reports] and the Netherlands [AFP report] have said they will not accept detainees.

 

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