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Guantanamo Detainees

DPA news agency (dfm)November 10, 2008

Amnesty International appealed Monday to Germany and other European nations to provide homes to 50 detainees from the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

A Guantanamo detainee sits in the sun while waiting out the day-time Ramadan fast, at Camp 4 medium-security facility for "compliant"detainees, at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base, Cuba
Some Guantanamo Bay detainees have been incarcerated for years without a trial dateImage: AP

The men cannot return to their home countries "for fear of torture or other serious human-rights violations," the human-rights group said in Berlin.

It said it was making the appeal with four other rights groups in the expectation that the next US president, Barack Obama, would close the detention center in Cuba.

About 250 people accused of being terrorists are currently held at the camp. Some 80 are expected to face trial by court martial.

Amnesty said the remainder included 50 from nations such as China, Libya, Russia, Tunisia and Uzbekistan.

The human-rights groups made their call after a two-day workshop in Berlin.

"Guantanamo cannot be closed until these men have a country which will accept them, and where their lives and liberty are not in jeopardy," the statement said.

Obama to move Guantanamo issue forward

Separately, advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have said they were putting together a proposal to ship dozens of the imprisoned terrorism suspects to the US to face criminal trial.

Under the plans, some detainees would be released and others would face prosecution.

The resolution of the issues surrounding Guantanamo Bay may require the creation of a new system of justice designed to handle sensitive national-security cases, the advisers said.

If the proposal is carried through it would make good on Obama's election campaign pledge to close the controversial detention facility.