President Mohamed Nasheed has said the Maldives will take prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay, the controversial American prison in Cuba that houses terror suspects.
In his weekly radio address on Friday, the president said the Obama administration came into power pledging to close down the prison and release a number of detainees.
“If a Muslim does not have a place to live in freedom, we will help in whatever way we can. We don’t want anyone to suffer any harm. We know that the Maldives, in helping just three people from Guantanamo Bay, does not mean that either the Maldives or the world would be free of inhumane treatment,” he said. “However this jail, Guantanamo jail, is very symbolic.”
He added the alleged torture that occurred in the offshore American jail made it notable in the same way as controversial Maldivian jails like Dhoonidhoo and Gaamaadho, believed to have tortured inmates.
“When the Americans bombed Afghanistan some time ago, a lot of Muslims were taken and jailed at Guantanamo Bay,” he said. “It is a promise of the new government to close the jail in one year. We have noted that the American president is doing a lot to fulfil that promise. However, the jail has still not been closed.”
The president said investigations have cleared most of the detainees of any involvement in terrorist activities, while the others will be taken to trial.
He said most of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay were innocent people caught up in the war in Afghanistan, and that offering assistance to other nations in whatever capacity was “a national duty.”