OneWorld US | European countries should emulate Ireland’s offer to accept Guantanamo detainees who will be released by the United States but cannot return to their home countries, says an international human rights monitor.
“This strong statement by the Irish Taoiseach [Prime Minister] must now be matched by other governments in Europe and, above all, by concrete and swift action by the U.S.A. to end the unlawful detention of the men still held at Guantanamo,” said Daniel Gorevan of Amnesty International’s Counter Terror with Justice campaign.
“We wanted to see the closure of Guantanamo. We believed it was overall injurious to the public perception of the West, the public perception of the U.S., and also in terms of the human rights dimension to it. We have said that we are willing to respond with an offer of assistance,” said Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Michael Martin in a recent meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. While some European countries, such as Sweden and the Netherlands, fear the security risks of accepting detainees, other nations, including France and Portugal, are more open to taking in former prisoners. Read more in an op-ed by columnist Ruth Dudley Edwards, published in the Irish online news source Independent.ie.
In one of his first moves as president of the United States, Barack Obama ordered a four-month suspension of the Guantanamo Bay military trials that have been criticized as unfair and counter to U.S. values of freedom and justice. Shortly thereafter, Obama issued an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, saying the move marks a new era of revitalized U.S. respect for human rights. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International report.