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Germany

Guantanamo detainees arrive in Germany

A Palestinian and a Syrian, who were incarcerated at the US Navy’s Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, have arrived in Germany as part of a deal to help close the facility.

Guantanamo inmates in orange overalls behind a fence

The question where to send all the inmates is still unanswered

The German interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, said in Berlin on Thursday that 34-year-old Ayman Mohammed Ahmad S., a stateless Palestinian, had arrived in the northern port city of Hamburg on Wednesday and was undergoing a medical check-up at a local hospital.

Ayman S. reportedly had been in detention at Guantanamo since January 2002, but no other details were given by the ministry. According to US records, he was arrested in Afghanistan in 2001.

Germany has agreed to take in two Guantanamo detainees as part of US President Barack Obama's efforts to close the controversial camp for terrorist suspects.

A second inmate also has arrived in the city of Mainz in the southwestern state of Rhineland Palatinate. No further details on the man, except that he is a Syrian, have been released.

De Maiziere said the precise locations of the two men would not be released in order to keep them out of the media limelight and give them a chance “to get a new start here in Germany.”

The interior minister also said that with the acceptance of Murat K. in 2006 and now these two Guantanamo prisoners, Germany had made its "humanitarian contribution" toward closing the detention camp.

Author: Gregg Benzow (epd/dpa/ap)
Editor: Rob Turner

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