Guantanamo set to release six detainees


No Lifer
Jun 7, 2001

The Washington Post

LONDON ? Five Britons and a Dane will be released from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where they've been held for two years without trial as terrorism suspects.

After months of discussions between British and U.S. officials, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said, the five British citizens who were rounded up by U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan in late 2001 would be sent home in the next few weeks. Straw said the men might face investigation and prosecution for terrorism offenses, but legal experts and supporters of the detainees said they thought it was unlikely that any cases would be brought against the detainees.

Four other Britons whom U.S. authorities consider a greater security threat remain at Camp Delta, the Guantanamo prison camp that holds about 600 suspects. There was no word on whether or when they might be released.

In Copenhagen, Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller announced the pending release of one of its citizens. Moeller said the detainee, Slimane Hadj Abderrahmane, would not face charges in Denmark.

Family members and other supporters of the detainees responded with cautious delight but said they would continue to press for the release of the remaining four Britons.

?It's a start at least, but we have to ask why they've been held for two years if they're not guilty of anything,? said Stephen Jakobi, director of Fair Trials Abroad.