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Germany considering accepting Guantanamo detainees

[JURIST] The German government is considering accepting detainees held at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], according to interviews [text] published this week by Der Spiegel magazine. German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official profile], Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle revealed a possible plan to accept the transfer of three inmates to Germany. While Germany has historically supported the closure of Guantanamo, the former interior minister opposed [UPI report] accepting detainees, citing security grounds. The new proposal, which may see detainees in Germany in the near future, has drawn criticism [Der Spiegel report] from members of the German coalition government.

Last month, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that three detainees had been transferred to the country of Georgia [JURIST report]. Also in March, two Uighur [JURIST news archive] Guantanamo detainees were transferred to Switzerland. The previous month, four detainees were transferred to Albania and Spain [JURIST report]. In December, Bulgaria [JURIST report] expressed a willingness to accept detainees. Other European countries that have accepted transfers include Latvia, Slovakia, and Belgium [JURIST reports]. The Obama administration failed to meet its January deadline [JURIST report] for closing the prison after running into several hurdles, including opposition from members of Congress and the suspension of detainee transfers to Yemen [JURIST report].

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