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Parliamentarians against more Guantánamo inmates

A Swiss parliamentary committee has asked the government not to accept any more asylum seekers from the United States’ military prison at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.

The security policy committee of the House of Representatives decided by 15 votes to ten to make this general recommendation to the government.

Committee president Jakob Büchler said the decision was purely based on security considerations and was not influenced by China’s recent warning to Switzerland not to accept two outstanding applicants to Switzerland who belong to China’s Uighur ethnic minority.

Büchler said the foiled attack on a US plane on Christmas Day showed that the danger of terrorism had not abated. He added that the human rights abuses committed in Guantánamo were the responsibility of the US and the problem of resettling detainees was therefore for the Americans to solve.

The western canton of Jura has said it is ready to accept the Uighur brothers but the decision must be approved by cabinet. Jura’s justice minister will meet Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf at the end of the month to discuss the matter.

In December an Uzbek national, currently being held in Guantánamo, was granted asylum by the Swiss authorities but his date of arrival in Switzerland has not been made public.

An Algerian detainee was also given a second chance to have his asylum request considered by the Swiss authorities, after winning an appeal to the Federal Administrative Court.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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