Guantanamo detainees find island homes — this time it may the Maldives

Miami HeraldMay 15, 2010 

First some freed Guantanamo captives went to Bermuda in the Atlantic. Later, others went to Palau in the Pacific.

Now it appears that the Obama administration is poised to send captives cleared for release from the remote prison camps in southeast Cuba to another island nation -- the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean.

Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed used his Friday weekly radio address to defend his nation's decision to take in two as-yet unidentified detainees. He also discouraged opposition parties in the mostly Sunni Muslim nation from politicizing any future transfer.

"In my view, it is not in line at all with our Constitution, Islam, or 'Maldivianness' that we refuse to help -- especially Muslims, especially those wrongly imprisoned,'' he said in a text of the message, carried on his website.

Nasheed announced the offer to take in two or three cleared captive from Guantanamo in December, as ``a symbolic gesture,'' during a speech in Maarandhoo island, a tiny Maldivian atoll, in which he praised President Barack Obama's vow to empty the prison camps at Guantánamo.

As of Saturday, the Pentagon was holding an estimated 180 captives at the U.S. Navy base, some of whom have been ordered released by federal judges in Washington D.C. Obama had ordered the camps emptied by Jan. 11 of this year, a deadline he later conceded would slip.

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