Fate of cleared Guantanamo inmates unclear

April 29, 2007 at 7:42 AM

WASHINGTON, April 29 (UPI) -- The U.S. government is stuck on what to do with at least 82 men cleared of terror charges being held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The problem the government faces in light of rights abuse allegations is that no country is willing to accept them, a Washington Post report said Sunday.

There are 385 inmates detained at the facility, most of them rounded up in Afghanistan and shipped there beginning in January 2002. Since February, 85 of them have been cleared for release, and three were flown out on Tuesday, the report said.

However, countries such as Yemen are refusing to accept suspects back based on disputes over the legality of the detainees' citizenship, the report said.

There is also another headache for the U.S. government involving 17 Chinese Muslims who would almost certainly face government harassment because of their separatist politics if returned home, the newspaper said.

"In general, most countries simply do not want to help," said John Bellinger, a legal adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. "They think they didn't contribute to Guantanamo, and therefore they don't have to be part of the solution."

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