Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Irish government must lead by example at EU meeting on Guantánamo and agree to take in detainees

23 January, 2009


Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has today welcomed President Obama’s signing of an Executive Order to close Guantánamo within the next year and has called on Foreign Affairs Minister to lead by example at Monday’s meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers by immediately agreeing to take in detainees from the facility.

The Dublin MEP said:

“President Obama’s swift actioning of his pre-election promise to close Guantánamo is welcome news, not just for the detainees who have been left languish for so many years in this appalling facility, but also for human rights campaigners around the globe who have fought so hard for its closure.

“President Obama listened to the calls from the international community for the trial or release of detainees held in the Guantánamo Bay Detention Centre and he has delivered his promise to close the facility.

“Responsibility now lies with governments to support the President in his request that European states take in the 50 prisoners who have been cleared for release from GuantánamoBay but cannot go home because of risk of torture or death.

“I would urge Minister Dermot Ahern to lead by example at Monday’s meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers by immediately agreeing to take in detainees from the facility. We should not have to await instruction from Europe to implement Ireland’s human rights obligations. This is a no-brainer. There should be no weak words coming from the Irish government on this issue.” ENDS

Connect with Sinn Féin