22nd Jan 2018

EU states agree to take in Guantanamo prisoners

  • Six EU states have publicly agreed to take in prisoners, with four saying in private they will do so as well (Photo: wikipedia)

Six European Union member states have agreed to accept detainees from the notorious US facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to a report in the Washington Post on Thursday (20 August).

The paper lists Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain as having accepted or publicly agreed to take in inmates, quoting unnamed officials in US president Barack Obama's administration. This website has previously reported that Belgium, but not Italy had made similar commitments.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Beyond these six, four EU countries have told the White House in private that they will resettle people currently held at the prison. A further five EU members are still thinking about the matter.

The Guantanamo camp was established by the then president George W. Bush in 2002 to house "war on terror" detainees. Since then, over 540 prisoners have been transferred from Guantanamo to at least 30 countries. Two hundred and twenty nine inmates still remain however, with president Obama having vowed to shut the facility by January 2010.

Around 80 of the detainees have already been cleared for release, but US officials are having difficulty finding countries that will take them in, and meeting resistance from a Congress unwilling to allow them to be housed on US soil.

Of these, there are about 50 inmates from Algeria, China, Libya, the occupied Palestinian territories, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia and Uzbekistan who cannot go home for fear of ill-treatment there.

The Washington Post also reports that Bermuda and Palau in the Pacific have agreed to take in prisoners and that the US has held "positive talks" on the matter with Australia and Georgia.

According to the same officials, Washington has formally requested or has plans to begin negotiations on the housing of former Guantanamo prisoners with unspecified Balkan countries, states in the Persian Gulf, in South America and in the former Soviet Union.

Eleven detainees have already been sent home or to Bermuda, which took in four Chinese Uighurs.

Palau is to take in 13 other Uighur prisoners.

Rights NGOs face fresh threats in EU

While ongoing crackdowns in Poland and Hungary have put the spotlight on rights groups, NGOs are now under new political and financial pressure across the EU, the Fundamental Rights Agency said.

News in Brief

  1. Germany confirms attendance at air quality summit
  2. Nearly half of 'fixed' Dieselgate cars show problems
  3. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook up hate speech deletion
  4. UK mulls bridge to France
  5. German far-right float anti-asylum bill
  6. EU Parliament to investigate glyphosate-decision process
  7. 'Mutagenesis' falls outside EU's GMO rules, says EU top lawyer
  8. Decision on Polish MEP's Nazi-era slur postponed

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on the agenda This WEEK
  2. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  3. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  4. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  5. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  6. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names
  7. EU to lend Greece up to €7bn more next week
  8. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia