Guantanamo Bay to be shut down, Britain to take prisoners

January 1st, 2009 - 9:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon BrownLondon, Jan 1 (IANS) Terrorist suspects from Guantanamo Bay are to be rehoused in Britain to enable the US shut down the controversial prison camp, a newspaper reported Thursday.The Times quoted unnamed government sources as saying the British government now supports a move to rehouse Guantanamo Bay detainees after refusing to help outgoing president George W. Bush.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Gordon Brown said a process to deal with the detainees was being put in place and that decisions “would be for the Home Secretary (minister) to decide on a case-by-case basis”.

The paper quoted unnamed officials as saying the British foreign ministry was more enthusiastic about the proposal than other government departments because it wanted “to get off to a good start with (US president-elect Barack) Obama”.

Of the 248 prisoners in Guantánamo Bay, some 60 have been cleared for release, according to the US military.

The paper said Washington was considering a proposal to take in 17 Chinese Uighurs, who cannot return to China, as an “opening gesture”.

The new US Administration also had plans to put the most dangerous detainees - between 30 and 80 men - to trial in the US, it added.

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