Ex Guantanamo Detainees' Families Can Visit Them- Dep Minister

Ex Guantanamo Detainees' Families Can Visit Them- Dep Minister

Visiting family members of the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees currently in Ghana will be allowed to do so without let or hindrance according to Deputy Interior Minister, James Agalga.

Mr. Agalga says although the two are on surveillance, their families are at liberty to pay them visits anytime they want to.

He was speaking on Citi FM’s News and Current Affairs programme, the Big Issue.

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The deputy minister, however, noted that visiting family members will be closely monitored.

“The decision was taken for the two to be admitted into this country. Family members, whether they are Yemenis or whatever, if they have to come into Ghana, there are laid down procedures for the entry of foreigners into the country. You just have to comply with those procedures. If they are granted visas and they come and want to meet them, what is wrong with that? They are not going to be treated differently expect that they are under surveillance.”

He says the two, Mahmmoud Omar Mohammed Bin Atef, 36, and Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, 34, will not be denied their freedom of movement such as visiting the mosques and the likes, although they will be closely monitored.

Many Ghanaians have criticized the John Mahama government over the decision to host the two detainees with many citing the country’s security as the main concern.

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Mr Agalga however, emphasized that government did a careful analysis on the two before deciding to host them in Ghana.

“We did an analysis and we found out the detainees will not pose a risk…Let’s consider the decision to accept detainees in the same light as other humanitarian gestures we have made.”

Bin Atef, according to a US Department of Defense report in 2007 is a one-time fighter for Osama Bin Laden.

The second Ex-Gitmo, Khalid Muhammad, according to 2006 documents on the New York Times website, lived his entire life in Saudi Arabia, although he claimed Yemeni citizenship.

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