Belgium agrees to receive Guantanamo inmate

5th September 2009, Comments 1 comment

The Belgian government said on Friday that it had agreed to take in an inmate from the US Guantanamo prison.

Following a deal with Washington and an inspection visit last month, Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy accepted the formal request from Foreign Minister Yves Leterme, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

The identity of the man has not been revealed, but the spokesman said that visa conditions would initially restrict his movements to within Belgium while resettlement help is provided.
Out of more than 200 Guantanamo prisoners, more than 10 are awaiting release after US federal courts ruled they were innocent of any wrongdoing. Most are waiting for a third country to take them in.

President George W. Bush opened the Guantanamo prison camp at a US military base in Cuba in 2002 to house "war on terror" detainees. Since then, more than 540 detainees have departed Guantanamo for other countries.

President Barack Obama has ordered the camp to be closed by 22 January 2010.
Belgian officials last month called on the United States to extradite two Tunisian inmates it wants to bring before justice.

Two Syrians held at Guantanamo were transferred to Portugal in August. Bermuda, France, Ireland and Palau in the Pacific have also recently agreed to receive inmates.


1 Comment To This Article

  • Shaniqua posted:

    on 16th September 2009, 11:40:48 - Reply

    Why can't they go to their own country. It just burns me because I have been trying to relocate to Belgium for a few years now to open a business that would add jobs to the community yet I keep hitting brick walls. A person who is "innocent" , but may be guilty is allowed to come to a country that he/she has no ties too and get resettlement help - Sad