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EU agrees on conditions for intake of Gitmo detainees
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08:49, June 05, 2009

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European Union (EU) member states on Thursday agreed on conditions for individual countries of the bloc to receive freed detainees of the U.S.-controlled Guantanamo prison.

The agreement was reached by EU interior ministers who are meeting in Luxembourg.

The ministers agreed that EU member states and Schegen associated countries can receive detainees who are "cleared for release" and who the U.S. administration does not wish to prosecute, who cannot return to their home countries of origin, and who want to be transferred to an EU member state or Schengen associated country.

The ministers called on the receiving member states to take into account public order and security concerns, including those of other member states, so as to avoid former detainees compromising public order or the internal security of EU member states and Schengen associated countries.

Any EU member state or Schengen associated country considering the acceptance of a Guantanamo detainee will be required to inform all other EU member states and Schengen associated countries before taking a final decision and provide all information necessary, including the detainee's envisaged legal status, possible security risks implied by the reception, and whether the person concerned is subject to judicial procedure.

The receiving country will also obliged to request and obtain from the United States all available intelligence and information concerning the detainee, and to share that information with other member states and Schengen associated countries.

All member states as well as Schengen associated countries will be informed about the final decisions taken by the potential receiving countries.

The Obama administration has pledged to close the Guantanamo prison in a U.S. military base in Cuba by January 2010 and has asked EU countries to take in some detainees who cannot be repatriated to their countries of origin.

The EU agreement applies to 25 states that comprise the border-free Schengen area. EU member states Britain and Ireland are not Schengen countries while Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are Schengen countries but not EU member states.


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