EU Considers Taking Gitmo Prisoners

Allies offer to help Obama 'clean up Bush's mess'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2008 5:01 AM CST
EU Considers Taking Gitmo Prisoners
Rebiya Kadeer, an ethnic Chinese Uighur leader from Zenjiang Province, China, speaks about the Uighurs in Guantanamo outside a federal court in Washington last month.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – European Union countries are considering giving Barack Obama a helping hand by accepting released Guantanamo Bay prisoners for resettlement, the Washington Post reports. Requests from the Bush administration to take Gitmo detainees were flatly rejected by the EU, but Portugal has now signaled its willingness to accept some prisoners and has urged other countries to follow suit.

One of the major obstacles in closing the detention camp has been a fear that prisoners sent back to their home countries would be tortured. The changing EU attitude reflects a new spirit of cooperation since Obama's election, said a director at Human Rights Watch. "Before, they said, 'Why should we clean up Bush's mess?' But now they are asking deeper questions about the detainees and how they might integrate them," she said.

(Read more European Union stories.)

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