German Chancellor Demands Closure of Guantanamo

In an interesting development, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is a Christian Democrat, has demanded the U.S. to close its enemy-combatant holding facilities at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
Wenige Tage vor ihrem Antrittsbesuch in den USA hat Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) eine Schließung des umstrittenen US-Gefangenenlagers Guantanamo gefordert. Merkel sagte nach einer CDU-Vorstandsklausur in Mainz, sie werde über dieses Thema auch mit US-Präsident George W. Bush reden. "Wir werden versuchen, Gemeinsamkeiten zu finden", fügte sie hinzu.

[Only a few days before her official visit to the United States, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has demanded the closure of the controversial U.S. prisoner camp at Guantanamo. Merkel said after a closed-door session of the CDU leadership in Mainz that she will speak with U.S. President George W. Bush about this matter. "We will try to find common ground," she added.]
This is interesting because it is a criticism that seems more natural coming from the former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of the SPD, who could use Guantanamo as a cheap and easy political talking point. Merkel is from Germany's conservative party and this criticism might therefore be taken more seriously.

The article notes that "former prisoners have described the internment as brutal and have reported abuse." It also points out that the U.S. has consistently denied these reports. I think it is telling that there are even "former prisoners," i.e. people who were once held there and who are now free.