BEIJING: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak praised US President Barack Obama for moving to shut down the US prison in Guantanamo Bay but urged him to speed up the process of relocating the inmates.
Malaysia is seeking the return of two of its citizens held at the US Navy base at Guantanamo since September 2006, when they were transferred there from secret CIA prisons.
“It is to Obama’s credit (that) he has come out to say he is going to close down (Guantanamo) … but he has not followed that up with what he is going to do with the inmates,” Najib said on Wednesday.
He described the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo as “horrific” while also defending the Internal Security Act which allows for detention without trial, saying the ISA had effectively prevented attacks and â€œsaved countless lives”.
Najib, who had called for a review of the ISA to make its use more open and transparent, added: “How we treat ISA detainees is really a walk in the park compared with Guantanamo Bay.
“Guantanamo Bay has been a horrific way of treating individuals who many believe happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. There are of course hardened extremists there as well. It’s a mixed bag.”
The two Malaysians â€“ Mohd Farik Bin Amin and Mohammed Nazir Bin Lep, better known as Zubair and Lillie respectively â€“ are labelled high-value detainees at Guantanamo.
They were captured separately in Thailand in 2003.
Source : AP