Some prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp who have been formally cleared of links to terrorism may soon be attempting to emigrate to Canada.
Lawyers have been discussing the possibility that Canada would take in at least one of the prisoners the U.S. military no longer considers a threat, however his name wasn't being released for fear of jeopardizing ongoing diplomatic negotiations.
Repatriating former Guantanamo inmates has proved difficult for the U.S. Although they have been classified as "No Longer Enemy Combatants" or NLECs, many do not want to return to their countries of origin after years in detention. They fear the taint of the infamous prison will lead to imprisonment or other reprisals if they are sent home.
The challenge for the U.S. is to find countries with good human rights records willing to welcome detainees it once suspected of terrorism ties. That leaves the detainees in something of a legal limbo -- no longer considered enemy combatants, but unable to leave prison.
Perhaps these men aren't guilty of being terrorists. But they aren't exactly innocent men, either. People don't go to rogue states and civil war zones, in the company of the combattants, for no reason.
Being cleared of terror charges is not a sufficient indication of their good character; it merely indicates that the evidence is not sufficient to establish legal proof of guilt.
Canada would be unwise to take these men just because the U.S. has trouble finding somewhere to put them. If they were trouble enough to send to Gitmo, they'll be trouble enough to send here.
Source: Ottawa Citizen