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Portugal accepts two Guantanamo Bay detainees as free men

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced Friday that two Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees have been transferred to Portugal [press release] under an agreement between the countries. The Syrian nationals were released from the detention facility following a comprehensive review of their cases by the Guantanamo Review Task Force. Portugal's Internal Administration Ministry [official website, in Portuguese] confirmed Saturday that the men arrived in the country and face no charges [press release, in Portuguese]. They will live in residences provided by the state and actions are underway to integrate them into Portuguese society. The DOJ stated that the US government will continue consulting with Portugal regarding the two men.

The agreement to transfer the detainees was made earlier this month at the request of the US government [JURIST report], making Portugal the third European nation to formally agree to accept Guantanamo detainees. Last month, Ireland announced [JURIST report] that it would take two detainees. In May, Algerian Guantanamo detainee Lakhdar Boumediene was released and accepted by France [JURIST report]. Last month, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said that the Netherlands would be willing to consider [JURIST report] accepting Guantanamo Bay detainees, despite earlier statements to the contrary. In June, the Council of the European Union reached an agreement [JURIST report] setting forth the terms of accepting detainees in a way that would minimize any danger posed to other member states.

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