Friday, January 02, 2009

Guantanamo prisoners to be sent to Poland?

Poland would be willing to take prisoners from Guantanamo detention camp, after the new Obama administration coses it down.

Some prisoners from Guantanamo are likely to be kept in European countries, including Poland.

According to the head of the Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs, Krzysztof Lisek of the ruling Civic Platform, there are no political obstacles to put such a plan into practice.

“If our ally submitted a request like that, we wouldn’t refuse,” Lisek said. “But we do know the situation of the Polish penitentiary system, the cramped conditions in the jails and a notorious lack of places. So in practice this would be extremely hard,” he adds.

Opposition MP and deputy head of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Pawel Kowal is of a similar opinion: “We should act in accordance with the obligations we have towards our ally, but also in accordance with the law”.

And it remains unclear whether keeping foreign prisoners in detention could be reconciled with the international conventions Poland observes.

According to the Rzeczpospolita daily, the US administration has asked the previous government to accept a few prisoners from Guantanamo. Warsaw however, turned the offer down, as they believed this would put Polish soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq in danger.

Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Piotr Paszkowski said Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has not made a decision on the matter as yet.

The liquidation of Guantanamo detention camp in Cuba was promised by the US president-elect Barack Obama in an attempt improve the image of the US around the world.