Guantanamo detainees accepted by Germany to be held for a year

[JURIST] The government of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate announced Monday that the two Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees accepted by Germany earlier this month would be confined for at least a year while undergoing psychological treatment and integration training. The German government agreed to take the detainees [JURIST report] after negotiations with the Obama administration. Rhineland-Palatinate Interior Minister Karl Peter Bruch [official website, in German] did not name the closed facility [DW report] in which the detainees would be held after their arrival in September, but stated that they would remain there at least a year before being released into the the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hamburg. During that time, they will be undergo psychological analysis, receive German language training and be observed by doctors and social workers. Once they are released, they will receive what has been described as intensive integration assistance from their host states, and following this they will be granted permanent residency permits [Der Spiegel report] that will allow them to live and travel anywhere in the EU. The terms for their release from the facility are to be set Monday. German critics of the plan, including opposition lawmakers and police unions, have argued that their presence could radicalize the Muslim population within the country and pose security problems. Bruch, along with other US and German officials have denied that, arguing that the detainees would not pose any security threats.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere [official website, in German] announced earlier this month that Germany would accept two detainees from Guantanamo. The Obama administration had originally asked Germany to take up to 10 detainees [JURIST report] from the facility. De Maiziere emphasized at the time that Germany had informed the US it would not consider any further requests [DW report] to accept detainees. There are currently 181 detainees remaining at the Guantanamo facility. The Obama administration continues its push to close the Guantanamo Bay facility, despite missing its self-imposed one-year deadline [JURIST report] in January.

 

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