Prisoners of Guantanamo Bay arrived to Spain have serious psychological problems and difficulties to adapt.
Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba gestures during a joint press conference with his Portuguese counterpart Rui Pereira, not in picture, in Oeiras, Portugal, on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Spain will host 5 prisoners of Guantanamo Bay, according to an agreement with the U.S. government. Other countries like Albania are doing the same. This arrangement has not been easy for the hosting country, because most of the former prisoners have deep psychological problems and their insertion into society is difficult. Yesterday , the third prisoner of Guantanamo Bay arrived to Spain late in the afternoon, to the military base of Torrejón de Ardoz, confirmed by government sources. This prisoner is a citizen from Afganistán. The first , a Palestinian, Walid Hijazi, arrived in late February, the second Jasim Basardah Yemeni in May.
The Spanish government offered the U.S. to host U.S. five prisoners in order to help the U.S. president, Barack Obama, in his efforts to close the prison, but no more arrivals are expected at least until after the summer. The Spanish government granted to ex-prisoners with no criminal record, a residence permit and work. They have freedom of movement within Spain, but can not leave the country.
The adaptation of prisoners has not being easy, as expected. Walid Hijazi, 30, arrived with serious psychological consequences of the military base and lived several months in a room of a small family hotel in a city in northern Spain. He was offered a transfer to a flat, but the NGO in charge , has been unable to reach an agreement with him. Finally, the city government moved him and brought him to live in a residence of the same NGO. Hijazi resists for the time to learn Spanish, fundamental issue that can truly integrate him in Spain and get a job.