The US foreign affairs department has asked the Netherlands to take over a number of prisoners from its Guantanamo Bay camp on the island of Cuba, the Parool reports on Friday.
The paper says the request was made to Dutch MPs who are on a fact-finding mission at the highly controversial camp.
The request for help applies to prisoners who are being released from the detention camp but cannot return to their country of origin.
Some 800 people have been through Guantanamo Bay since its opening in 2002. The camp currently houses some 400 prisoners, 85 of whom are waiting to be released because the US no longer considers them to be a danger.
The Dutch foreign affairs ministry has told the Parool that it has not received a request from the US to take over prisoners. Until it does, the Dutch position is that the US must look after prisoners on its own territory.
The right-wing Liberal (VVD) and anti-immigration PVV parties both welcome the idea of taking over prisoners from Guantanamo. 'It will be a great day when the Netherlands has such a detention centre of its own,' PVV leader Geert Wilders tells the paper.
The Christian Democrats are less keen on the idea, the paper says.
Officially, the Netherlands considers the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay a contravention of international agreements, a point made by foreign minister Maxime Verhagen when he met US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice in April.
Friday, October 26, 2007
U.S. ASKS HOLLAND TO TAKE GUANTANAMO SUSPECTS
DutchNews.nl - 26 October 2007 -