Swiss Welcomes a Detainee from Guantanamo Bay

The Swiss government says it will take in one detainee from the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The government on Wednesday did not say which detainee it will allow to resettle in the Alpine nation or where he would live. A Swiss canton also must approve residency.

The government said it would allow the detainee to live in Switzerland for "humanitarian reasons."

European nations that have agreed to accept detainees in recent months include France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and Portugal.

President Barack Obama ordered the facility closed by January 2010, but said last month he would miss the deadline. There are over 200 detainees at Guantanamo.

Guantánamo Bay is a bay located in Guantánamo Province at the southeastern end of Cuba. It is the largest harbor on the south side of the island and is surrounded by steep hills creating an enclave cut off from its immediate hinterland.

The United States assumed territorial control over Guantánamo Bay under the 1903 Cuban-American Treaty, which granted the United States a perpetual lease of the area. The current government of Cuba regards the U.S. presence in Guantánamo as illegal and insists the Cuban-American Treaty was obtained by threat of force in violation of international law.
The Associated Press has contributed to the report.

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