Estonia to Monitor Freed Guantanamo Inmate

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Estonia to Monitor Freed Guantanamo Inmate

A US soldier keeps watch from a guard tower on Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base in Cuba. (Associated Press)

Tallinn:  A Guantanamo Bay prisoner released to Estonia as part of efforts to empty the controversial US military detention centre poses no "major threat" but will be monitored, the Estonian interior ministry said Thursday.

The man identified as Akhmed Abdul Qadir by the Pentagon arrived in Estonia on Wednesday and immediately applied for asylum, according to an Estonian government statement.

The 31-year-old Yemeni had been held for years at the US prison facility in Cuba without being convicted of any crime.

"This person has been proved to be appropriate for resettlement by many security services of the USA and therefore does not pose a major threat," Estonian interior ministry spokeswoman Karin Kase told AFP.

"At the same time, the person will be under greater attention."

Qadir left the US naval base along with four other inmates who were sent to Oman.

Their transfer leaves 122 inmates at the remote prison, which was set up under former president George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

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.

Qadir "arrived here of his own free will and he wishes to stay here," the Estonian government statement said, adding that the state would guarantee his smooth integration into society including through language study and social support services.


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