Guantanamo Bay detainees should be granted asylum in Europe.
Barack Obama has vowed to close down Guantanamo Bay as soon as he takes office this month. In order to support and speed up this process, the UK is preparing to take in and rehouse prisoners who have been cleared for release. Other European countries have volunteered to help as well – Portugal has supported the decision and Germany is considering taking in detainees. Of the 248 remaining prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, approximately 60 have been cleared for release.
You can also add to the debate by leaving your comment at the end of the page.
The prison needs to be closed as soon as possible.
Guantanamo Bay is a symbol of gross violations of human rights and tweaking loopholes in the Geneva Convention. Many of the prisoners there have not been arrested lawfully or given a fair trial, their treatment was unlawful and the institution bred anti-Western sentiments as much as it prevented terrorism. If increasing the number of countries that will accept the refugees will speed up the closure of the place, then it is worth it.
We need to know that the refugees are not mistreated again.
Many of the detainees are under serious threat of persecution and torture if they return to their own countries. In addition, they will not entirely trust the US Government not to abuse their human rights again. While the system put in place to receive refugees in the UK is by no means perfect, there are safeguards to make sure they are not mistreated.
America's mistake, let them sort it out.
The problems within Guantanamo Bay are all a result of shoddy administration within the US. Why should they shift the responsibility of rehousing the detainees to other countries? They are perfectly capable of giving them proper trials, rehousing the ones who were unlawfully convicted and deporting the ones guilty of actual terrorism.
The refugees would not be able to coexist in the UK.
Although the refugees will have been cleared in court, there is a great deal of paranoia around suspected terrorists being allowed into the country that may lead to attacks. In addition, there will be bad feeling around the prisoners receiving benefits in the middle of a recession where the unemployment levels mean that benefits are already overstretched. The refugees will also not be treated that well by the government – they can legally have their phone and Internet use monitored or even cut off if they are even slightly suspected of terrorism, and they will not be able to receive JSA, Housing Benefit or Income Support.
What do you think?