Ireland Agrees to Take Two Guantanamo Detainees
During my time as Minister for Foreign Affairs, I was the first EU Minister to call for the closure of the detention facility. The Government has consistently called for its closure since then. In making this decision I am conscious of the intention of the United States to close the centre at Guantanamo Bay, in part by transferring detainees, no longer regarded as posing a threat to security but who cannot return to their own countries, to other countries willing to accept them."
The Minister said that, while the two men being accepted by Ireland were not being admitted as refugees within the meaning of the Geneva Convention he intended to adhere to the norms of official procedure in respecting the rights of the two men to their privacy. There would not therefore be public disclosure of any personal information, family situations etc. nor would details of the arrangements for travel to Ireland be made public.
He also asked the public to respect the privacy of the two transferees, who are expected to arrive in Ireland within the next few months:
The Minister asked people to acknowledge the difficult conditions in which the two men had been detained for a number of years and to allow them time and space to adjust to their new circumstances when they arrive.
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