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Bulgaria to consider accepting Guantanamo detainee

[JURIST] Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov [official profile, in Bulgarian] agreed [Standart report] Saturday to consider accepting one Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee after a request from the Obama administration, though the Bulgarian Parliament [official website, in Bulgarian] would make the final decision. Borisov stated that Bulgaria will be supported by its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) [organization website] allies for its decision but does not expect something in return from the US. The Bulgarian media claims that it received a letter [Mediapool report, in Bulgarian] written by US special envoy Daniel Fried to Borisov, asking Bulgaria to accept Guantanamo prisoners. Fried is reported to have already discussed the transfer with Bulgarian Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov [SNA backgrounder]. Council of Europe [official website] Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg [official profile] has previously called upon [JURIST report] European states to open their doors to Guantanamo prisoners.

Earlier this month Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha [official website] told reporters that closing Guantanamo is "human rights issue" when expressing his willingness [JURIST report] to accept more detainees. In November, four Guantanamo detainees were transferred to three European countries, as the detainee population at the detention facility continues to be reduced. Two Tunisian natives were transferred to Italy [press release] where they will stand trial. The other detainees include an unidentified Palestinian man transferred to Hungary [press release] and an Algerian who was transferred to France [press release]. In September, Belgium accepted a detainee for resettlement after sending a delegation to Guantanamo to interview [JURIST reports] the candidate.

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