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Ireland open to accepting released Guantanamo detainees

[JURIST] Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin [official profile] has said that Ireland would likely accept detainees [Irish Examiner report] released from the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] military prison if US President-elect Barack Obama closed the facility. In an interview with the Irish Examiner published Monday, Martin noted that Ireland supports closure of Guantanamo and said it was a "logical follow-through" for Ireland to accept the detainees in order to assist in the facility's closure, though he added that no detainees with terrorist ties would be accepted. He also said that Ireland's final decision on whether to take in Guantanamo detainees would fall on the Irish cabinet.

Obama has long indicated that he would close the military prison at Guantanamo bay if elected, raising concerns about where to relocate the released prisoners. Rights groups have urged closure of the controversial military prison upon Obama's inauguration in January, with the ACLU launching an ad campaign [image, PDF] calling for Obama to end military commissions on his first day in office. Earlier this month, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates [official profile] ordered the Pentagon to draft a proposal for shutting down the prison [press release; JURIST report] in preparation for a possible order from Obama. Germany, France, and Portugal [JURIST reports] have said they would consider taking in released Guantanamo detainees, and have encouraged all EU member states to cooperate in formulating a plan for accepting prisoners who cannot be returned to their homelands because of risk of torture. Britain and Australia [JURIST report] have said they would consider accepting detainees on a case-by-case basis. Poland and Spain [JURIST reports] have expressed reservations about accepting Guantanamo detainees, while the Netherlands has said it will not accept any [AFP report]. Obama and his advisers have yet to reach a firm decision [JURIST report] on the closure of the facility.

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