Plea for Belgian Guantanamo prisoners
12 March 2004
BRUSSELS – The Belgian government has confirmed it is trying to secure the return of two Belgian citizens currently being held prisoner by the US army at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
“We are currently discussing with our American counterparts how it may be possible to free them,” foreign ministry spokesman Patrick Herman said on Thursday.
“Belgian officials have visited them four times since 2002 and they have also been seen by the Red Cross,” Herman added.
The US says prisoners held in Guantanamo, most of whom were captured in Afghanistan in 2001, are ‘unlawful combatants’.
Many analysts say Washington has opted for this definition so it doesn’t have to give Guantanamo detainees the same rights they would have if they were prisoners of war.
Earlier this month five British prisoners who had been held at Guantanamo were released from the camp and allowed to return to the UK.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Belgian news