Pressure grows on US to close Guantanamo Bay

12th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

12 January 2006, AMSTERDAM - The U.S. camp holding terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay should be closed "as soon as possible", Dutch Defence Minister Henk Kamp said Thursday, days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed similar sentiments.

12 January 2006

AMSTERDAM - The U.S. camp holding terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay should be closed "as soon as possible", Dutch Defence Minister Henk Kamp said Thursday, days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed similar sentiments.

Kamp told the Dutch evangelical radio station EO he disagreed with the United States over the term "illegal combatants", who are said to fall outside the terms of the Geneva conventions.

"You have civilians and you have soldiers and not something else in between," he said.

Regarding the Guantanamo Bay camp for detainees, Kamp said that for him the "ideal situation" would be that it no longer existed.

Closing the camp "should be effected as soon as possible", he said.

In an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel, published over the weekend, Merkel said: "An institution such as Guantanamo cannot and ought not to exist long term in this way. Means for different treatment of the prisoners need to be found."

She was speaking ahead of a visit to the U.S., during which she pledged to raise the issue with President George W. Bush.

DPA

Subject: German news

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