Don't miss




French education: Reinventing the idea of school

Read more


Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

Read more

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more


Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more


Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more


Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more


Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more


DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more


Portugal to take in two Syrian prisoners


Latest update : 2009-08-07

Portugal will accept two Syrian nationals for resettlement from the US detention camp of Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, the foreign ministry has said. US President Barack Obama has pledged to close the prison by the end of the year.

REUTERS - Portugal will accept two Syrian nationals for resettlement from the U.S. detention camp of Guantanamo Bay in Cuba on a special visa, the foreign ministry said on Friday, lauding the forthcoming closure of the camp.

Their names were not revealed. The ministry said the prisoners are part of a group of several dozen detainees who had been cleared of terrorism charges, but cannot be returned to their countries due to the risk of persecution.

In December, Portugal became the first country to press publicly for a coordinated European Union resettlement plan for Guantanamo prisoners, which was followed by an EU decision in June to take in detainees on a case-by-case basis.

The foreign ministry said in a statement the government had weighed various aspects—“humanitarian, foreign relations, safeguarding security and the prospects of successful integration of the chosen ex-detainees” before taking the final decision to accept the two.

The special temporary visas to be issued imply either state interests or humanitarian reasons, according to the law.

It praised the closure of the Gunatanamo detention centre as allowing “the revival of the Transatlantic relationship and a victory for all those who defend and promote the respect for human rights within the framework of the war on terror”.

The facility at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo, which opened after the Sept 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, quickly became a symbol of detainee abuse and detention without charge under the previous administration of George W. Bush.

President Barack Obama has pledged to close the prison by the end of the year, and the inmates either have to face trial or be released. Washington faces opposition to transferring detainees to the United States, be it for trial or release.

Date created : 2009-08-07