Gitmo Libyans to Georgia; Supra Awaits?
If there is any possibility to curry favor with the U.S., you can bet the Georgian government will be all over it. So it comes as little surprise that Georgia has agreed to accept three prisoners from the U.S.'s Guantanamo Bay prison. The prisoners weren't identified, though apparently two were Libyan:
Two of the three men were Libyans, according to Chicago attorney H. Candace Gorman, who identified one of them as her client Abdel Hamid al Ghazzawi, 47, a Libyan married to an Afghan with one child, a daughter. He ran a small shop in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, she said, until shortly before the American invasion, when he was handed over to U.S. forces.
The prisoners will lead "normal" lives in Georgia, Tbilisi says:
The three prisoners don’t pose a “serious danger” to Georgia and they won’t he held in detention, though their movements will be “strictly monitored” and they won’t be allowed to leave the country, Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said by telephone today in the capital Tbilisi.
Georgia's opposition Labor Party, however, objects:
At today's press conference Kakha Dzagania, one of the party leaders, said that "import of Guantanamo prisoners to Georgia, turned by Saakashvili into a concentration camp" creates a great threat, from surrounding Muslim states as well.
No, it's not rich, stable Switzerland, where two other Gitmo prisoners were sent the same day, but Georgian hospitality should more than make up for that. And given that they were picked up in Afghanistan and/or Pakistan, the threat of a new war with Georgia shouldn't faze them too badly.
Speaking of which, Georgia's "Abkhazian government-in-exile" says Russia is building up its military bases there:
The Abkhazian Government-in-Exile reported an increase of Russian weapons in Abkhazia. According to its Chairman Gia Baramia, 20 more armoured vehicles were deployed at the Gudauta Russian military base on March 15-16, including 8 modernised armoured personnel carriers and 11 tanks. “We have information that 120 more soldiers have been deployed as well,” Baramia said. The Chairman of the Abkhazian Government-in-Exile said that new military bases are being “intensively” built in the conflict zone. “Bases are being constructed in Tagiloni, Pichori, Meore Otobaia, Saberio and Lkokhura,” he said. Currently Russian has about 120-150 armoured vehicles and 4,000 soldiers in the region, according to the Abkhazian legitimate Government.
Joshua Kucera is the Turkey/Caucasus editor at Eurasianet, and author of The Bug Pit.
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