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Terror suspects

nk/ai, dpa/AP/AFPMay 10, 2009

The German government says it cannot accept any detainees from the Guantanamo prison facility until Washington provides more information on them and answers some key questions.

Detainees at Guantanamo Bay wearing orange jump suits kneeling at a fence as US soldiers look on
Berlin wants more data on Guantanamo inmates destined for GermanyImage: dpa

In a newspaper interview published on Sunday, Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble complained that Washington had not yet provided sufficient information for Germany to act on resettling Guantanamo detaineees.

Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported that Washington had provided Berlin with a list of nine Chinese Muslims, members of the Uighur ethnic group, that it hoped Germany would offer refuge to.

"The information that we've received so far from Washington is insufficient for us to take a decision on whether to accept any one of the cases," Schaueble told the paper.

The minister said a number of concerns needed to be addressed before Germany could take a decision on whether to accept the detainees.

"First, are we sure that these people do not pose a threat because this is a worry of many citizens here. Second, why can't the United States take them on? And third, do they have a link to Germany?" he said.

Bavarian minister rejects Uighur detainees

Bild reported that Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann is opposed to taking in any of the Uighur detainees.

Herrmann was quoted as saying that security intelligence showed seven of the nine Uighurs reportedly being considered for resettlement in Germany had been trained in camps of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and had contacts to militant Islamist organisations.

"We don't need those kind of people in Germany," Hermann told the newspaper, adding that US demands were unreasonable.

Of around 240 prisoners still held without charge at the US military camp for enemy combatants, reportedly 50 cannot be sent to their homelands because of the danger they may be tortured.

US President Barack Obama had pledged to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp by January 2010. Washington hopes that European allies will facilitate the closure by giving some of the former detainees a new home.