Slovakia says freed Guantanamo inmates `pose no risk`

The Guantanamo Bay prisoners released to Slovakia as part of efforts to empty the controversial US military detention centre pose no security risk, the Slovak interior ministry said Friday.

AFP| Updated: Nov 21, 2014, 20:26 PM IST

Bratislava: The Guantanamo Bay prisoners released to Slovakia as part of efforts to empty the controversial US military detention centre pose no security risk, the Slovak interior ministry said Friday.

The two men, a Yemeni and a Tunisian, arrived in Slovakia on Thursday after being held at the prison facility in Cuba for more than a decade without charge or trial.

"These individuals have never been suspected or accused of committing a crime and they pose no risk to Slovakia`s internal security," Interior Ministry spokesman Peter Lazarov said in a statement. 

He said that had also been the case with previous Guantanamo inmates transferred to the EU member. 

Slovakia had already taken in six prisoners -- an Azerbaijani, an Egyptian, a Tunisian and three Uighurs -- following a 2009 agreement with the United States.

Lazarov did not specify the names of the inmates, but the Pentagon identified them as Hasham Bin Ali Bin Amor Sliti, from Tunisia, and Husayn Salim Muhammad al-Mutari Yafai, from Yemen.

The men left the US naval base on Thursday along with three Yemeni prisoners sent to Georgia. 

Lazarov said the two new arrivals will take part in a three-year programme to ensure their integration into Slovak society.

"Their rights will be respected," he added. 

US President Barack Obama has pledged to shut down Guantanamo, but his attempts have been partly hampered by Congress`s refusal to allow any inmates to be transferred to US soil.

There are 143 inmates still at the prison set up under former president George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Eighty-four of them are from Yemen. 

Obama lifted a moratorium in May on transfers of Yemeni prisoners, but none had been released until now due to political instability in Yemen and the risk of returning to the fight.