Spain to accept 5 Guantanamo detainees

Spain to accept 5 Guantanamo detainees

[JURIST] Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos [official profile] announced Monday that Spain will accept five detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Spain had previously agreed [JURIST report] to accept only two detainees, one Yemeni and one Palestinian, in response to a June request [AFP report] by the Obama administration. Moratinos indicated [El Pais report, in Spanish] that Spain was willing to increase the number of detainees accepted in order to help remedy what it sees as an unacceptable situation at the detention facility. No timetable has been set for the transfer, but Moratinos stated [BBC report] that it would occur in a way to protect the security of Spain.

The Obama administration continues its push to close the Guantanamo Bay facility, despite missing [NYT report] its self-imposed one-year deadline last month. The administration has run into several hurdles in closing the prison, including opposition from members of Congress and the suspension of detainee transfers to Yemen [JURIST report]. Spain joins a growing list of countries that have recently accepted transfers, including Latvia, Switzerland, Slovakia, Algeria, Afghanistan, Palau , Bermuda, Albania and Somaliland [JURIST reports].