Guantanamo inmate Murat Kurnaz transferred to Germany and released

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

After being held for more than four years at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, German born Turkish citizen Murat Kurnaz was transferred to German custody by U.S. authorities on Thursday. An hour later, he was released.

Kurnaz was picked up in Pakistan in 2001 when riding a bus. He was first transferred to a prison camp in Afghanistan and then transferred to Guantanamo bay. He was designated an "enemy combatant" even after German law enforcement and US intelligence officials concluded that there was no information tying him to al-Qaeda or other terrorist activities.

Kurnaz's lawyers have charged that Kurnaz was tortured while being held in Afghanistan and - to a lesser degree - while at Guantanamo Bay. Even on the flight back to Germany Kurnaz was shackled on hand and feet, tied to the ground and blindfolded.

Pentagon spokesman Chito Peppler said that the conditions for the prisoner transfer of Kurnaz to Germany included guarantees that Kurnaz be treated humanely by German authorities and that Germany take steps to ensure Kurnaz would not pose any threat to the world.

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