Punchy headline, ain’t it.
Something along the line of what happened in RDC when they ‘lost’ Mas Selamat Kastari in February ’08.
Well, folks, it’s a game of musical chairs but in this case, I’m referring to the other ‘rendition sites’ taking over responsibilities from Big Brother’s Guantanamo with the recent announcement of its imminent closure.
Bernama had this report, picked up from Reuters :
January 02, 2009
UK says help needed to shut Guantanamo
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Thursday that the United States would need help to close down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp for terrorism suspects but refused to say if it would agree to resettle inmates with no links to Britain.
The Times newspaper said Britain was preparing to receive foreign suspects from the U.S. prison on Cuba so President-elect Barack Obama could fulfill his pledge to close it down.
The report, quoting government sources, said Britain now supported moves to rehouse the detainees, despite previous refusals to help President George W. Bush. It said interior minister Jacqui Smith would decide on a case-by-case basis.
About 255 men are still held at the naval base in Cuba, including 50 the United States has cleared for release but cannot repatriate for fear they will be tortured or persecuted in their home countries.
“We’ve made it clear we think Guantanamo should be closed,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman said when asked for comment. “We recognise the legal, technical and other difficulties and that the U.S. will require assistance from allies and partners to make that happen.”
She noted that Britain had already accepted several Guantanamo inmates who were not British nationals but had only lived in Britain. “We have been pushing for our partners to follow our lead,” she said.
However, she declined to comment on whether Britain would go further and accept Guantanamo inmates with no previous links to Britain, saying: “We haven’t been asked.”
The Conservatives’ foreign policy spokesman William Hague called on Foreign Secretary David Miliband to clarify the issue.
“The Foreign Secretary must explain urgently whether this is true, how many Guantanamo inmates would be admitted to Britain, by what criteria they would be selected, and what assurances would be given about their behaviour in the future,” Hague said in a statement.
Portugal wrote to its European Union partners in December urging them to resettle Guantanamo detainees.
After securing the release of all nine British citizens held at Guantanamo, Britain asked Washington in 2007 to free five men who were legally resident in Britain before their detention but were not British nationals. That marked a shift from London’s previous stance that it was not responsible for such detainees.
Three British residents came to Britain in December 2007 after being freed from Guantanamo. The Foreign Office spokeswoman said Britain continued to press for the release of two remaining British former residents held there — Ethiopian-born Binyam Mohamed and Saudi-born Shaker Aamer.
In October, the Pentagon official overseeing the Guantanamo war crimes court dismissed all charges against Mohamed, who says he falsely confessed to a radioactive “dirty bomb” plot while being tortured in a Moroccan prison.
Trust the Brits for their sense of fairplay in dealing with non-caucasian or former UK residents (Naaah, that didn’t sound quite right considering the circumstances but what the heck) when compared to Aussie Rules who wouldn’t touch it with a ‘barbie’ shrimp-stick.
Anywayz, never mind about these foreigners. I’m more interested to know what the BN government intend to do with Mohd Farik Amin and Mohd Nazir Lep. They are Malaysians detained at Gitmo since 2003 who, according to this report, were either innocent or were not granted their inherent rights to a free and fair trial. Rather sanctimonious, don’t you think, coming from the lips of RY who also reportedly said “This is worse than the ISA”.
For the AAB administration to acquiesce on this request from the U.S., it will set in motion a number of conflicting situations:
a) If MFA and MNL are to be considered ‘innocent’ by the Malaysian government, they will return as ordinary citizens with no loss of their citizenship rights including the possibility of their suing the U.S. government. If so, would outgoing AAB have the political will to thumb his nose at the incoming US prez?
b) If they are ‘guilty’, the only option will be their further incarceration at KDC. But that would make a mockery of contrary statements issued by the PMO and the Foreign Affairs ministry.
c) In both cases, the status of KDC and its own set of 46 detainees will be further scrutinised by the legal fraternity and civil society.
Therefore, the Anti-ISA candlelight vigils will continue its course until there’s closure (pun intended) on KDC.