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Updated: July 7, 2010 20:21 IST

Germany to accept two prisoners from Guantanamo

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German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere (CDU) speaks at a federal news conference in Berlin on Wednesday. Photo: AP.
German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere (CDU) speaks at a federal news conference in Berlin on Wednesday. Photo: AP.

Germany is to accept two released prisoners from Guantanamo, the U.S. detention camp for terrorist suspects in Cuba, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in Berlin on Wednesday.

He said the United States had initially nominated three captives who had been “cleared for release” to be resettled in Germany.

German officials interviewed the captives in March. Mr. De Maiziere turned down the third man, saying, “I was not totally convinced this one posed no danger whatever to the security of Germany.” He said two of Germany’s 16 states, Hamburg and Rhineland Palatinate, had agreed to accommodate a released man each.

“We will not invite terrorists into this country,” he stressed.

Germany has agonized for several years over U.S. requests to give new homes to men who cannot be sent to their homelands because of the risk of torture. Critics fear the ex—prisoners will radicalize German Muslims, who make up five per cent of the country’s population.

U.S. diplomats have been in talks with the German Interior Ministry for many months about a release.

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