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German authorities negotiating for release of Guantanamo detainee

[JURIST] German officials are in talks with their US counterparts for the release of a German-born man who has been held in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] for almost four years. Murat Kurnaz [Amnesty International case sheet; chronology, PDF], a Turkish national, was detained in Pakistan in 2001 on suspicion of terrorism and later handed over to US forces, arriving at Guantanamo in 2002. Negotiations began when Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website in German, BBC profile] met with President Bush [JURIST report] last month. The German government hopes to obtain the release by the summer.

If Kurnaz is released, Germany would need to give the US "guarantees of security", such as continued surveillance of Kurnaz at all times. Last year, Kurnaz claimed [JURIST report] that he had been subjected to torture, physical abuse and sexual humiliation by US interrogators. Reuters has more. Deutsche Welle has local coverage.

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