UN torture investigator says Europe should take in Guantanamo inmates

November 20, 2008 5:19:24 PM PST
The U.N.'s torture investigator says America's European allies have a responsibility to take in Guantanamo inmates who cannot be sent home when the military prison closes. President-elect Barack Obama has said he intends to shut the Guantanamo Bay detention center once he takes office. Some detainees might be prosecuted in U.S. courts, but others would be released.

U.N. torture expert Manfred Nowak says many of them would face persecution if they are deported to their home countries. Human rights campaigners say dozens could seek asylum in Europe.

Nowak says European countries that have cooperated with the U.S.

in the war on terror have a responsibility to help. He says Albania and Sweden have already taken in a handful. But last week Switzerland denied asylum to three of the inmates and Denmark's foreign minister said his country would not take any.

Currently, there are about 250 inmates at Guantanamo.