Amnesty calls on Northern Ireland to take freed Guantánamo prisoners

Amnesty International has called on Northern Ireland to accept detainees released from Guantanámo Bay. The call comes as two detainees, released from the prison camp by US authorities, arrived in the Republic of Ireland for resettlement.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International's Northern Ireland Programme Director, said: “We very much welcome this humanitarian action from the Irish government and we now ask that the move be echoed in Northern Ireland, where we have considerable experience of prisoner release and reintegration.

“The Republic is just the latest in a growing list of European countries to take detainees released from Guantánamo. The First and Deputy First Minister should indicate to Downing Street and the White House that Northern Ireland too stands ready to be part of the humanitarian solution to closing the camp. Ministers in the Republic have shown courage and imagination in making this move and their counterparts in Northern Ireland should show similar mettle.”

Some 60 men are known to be at risk of torture or persecution if returned to their home countries, and while the US may permit some of the men to be admitted to the US mainland the remaining detainees are likely to need ‘humanitarian protection’ in other countries upon release.

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