US sends 2 Syrian Guantanamo inmates to Portugal

Two Syrians held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay have been sent to Portugal, the U.S. Justice Department said.

US sends 2 Syrian Guantanamo inmates to Portugal

Two Syrians held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay have been sent to Portugal, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday.

Portugal's foreign ministry said earlier this month it would accept the two Syrians, who had been cleared of all charges but could not return to their home country for fear of persecution. Their names were not released.

"We would not have proceeded with the transfers if the United States or Portugal had any security-related concerns that were not adequately addressed," said Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd.

Human rights groups and others have harshly criticised the prison that has undermined the reputation of the United States worldwide because of its illegal position. Many prisoners have been held for years without charges, and rights groups say U.S. forces have commited torture, abuse and renditon

The prison, on a U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was opened by the Bush administration after the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.

Since Obama took office in January, 14 detainees have been released from Guantanamo and sent overseas. One other man was sent to New York, where he awaits trial for years.

Earlier this week, the United States released one of the youngest detainees held at Guantanamo to Afghanistan after seven years. Mohammed Jawad said he would sue U.S. for torture and holding him without trials.

Obama pledged days after taking office to close the controversial detention camp within a year. But some U.S. lawmakers have questioned whether he can deal with the remaining 226 prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay by then.

Human rights groups say the commissions violate detainees' legal rights and remain unconvinced by the administration's promise to refer as many cases as possible to civilian courts.

Reuters
Last Mod: 29 Ağustos 2009, 17:32
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