MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) – Uruguay will treat the six detainees it has taken in from the US camp holding suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay as “totally free men” who do not represent any security threat, the defense minister told Reuters on Monday.
The men were flown to Uruguay for resettlement on Sunday, the latest step in a slow-moving push by US President Barack Obama to close the widely-condemned prison where most detainees have never been charged or tried.
Uruguayan President Jose Mujica accepted a US request to take some inmates from Guantanamo and he has said the men – four Syrians, a Tunisian and a Palestinian – can leave whenever they want or stay as long as they want.
“They will not be restricted in any way. Their status is that of refugees and immigrants,” Uruguayan Defense Minister Eleuterio Fernandez Huidobro said in a phone interview.