Sunday, January 04, 2009

Australia Rejects US Request To Take Gitmo Detainees

Australian acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Saturday that Australia would not take any former inmates of the US Guantanamo Bay detention center. Gillard said the Australian government had advised the United States on Friday night that Australia would refuse the American request for resettling some of the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay in Australia. It was the second request from the US. "Early in 2008, we received a request from the US government to consider resettlement of a group of detainees," Gillard told reporters in Melbourne on Saturday, but "that request was denied by the Australian government."In December 2008, we received a second request. We have considered that request and last night Australian time, we advised the US government that we would not be agreeing to those resettlement requests," Australian Associated Press quoted Gillardas saying. "Those resettlement requests were considered on a case by case basis against Australia's stringent national security and immigration criteria. Assessing those requests on a case by case basis (they) have not met those stringent national security and immigration criteria and have been rejected," she added. She also said that Australia would consider future requests on a case by case basis against these stringent criteria for both national security and immigration.