Kabul, 23 Jumadil Akhir 1434/3 May 2013 (MINA) – Afghan president Hamid Karzai during a brief visit to Denmark on Thursday (2/5) urged for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison.

       This comes as U.S. President Barack Obama mulls a renewed push before a reluctant U.S. Congress.

       “I have from the very beginning been a very strong supporter for the closing down of the Guantanamo prison,” Karzai on Thursday told reporters.

       U.S. President Barack Obama signed an executive order for the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison soon after he took office however Congress has used its budgetary power to block detainees from being moved to the United States.

       In the meantime president Hamid Karzai during his visit to Denmark said Afghanistan had asked the U.S. administration for the release of Afghan prisoners being held in Guantanamo.

       “We have been in contact with the U.S. for a couple of years about their release,” Karzai said, the Khaama Press quoted by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

      President Hamid Karzai is on a regional visit and arrived in Denmark after visiting Finland and Estonia. He met with the Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt to discuss bilateral ties between the two nations and sign a long term strategic cooperation agreement.

      Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla has called on the United States to close its infamous Guantanamo Bay prison and return the military base to Havana.

      “We are deeply concerned about the legal limbo that supports the permanent and atrocious violation of human rights at the illegal naval base in Guantanamo, a Cuba territory that was usurped by the United States, a centre of torture and deaths of prisoners who are under custody,” Parrilla said in a speech to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday.

      The United States holds 166 men at the prison, with most of the captives being held without any charges or trial.

      Parrilla also condemned the force-feeding of around 20 hunger strikers who, like the majority of the detainees in the prison, have been refusing food for weeks.

       According to Press TV reports quoted, Around 130 prisoners are on a hunger strike to protest against prison conditions and their indefinite confinement.

       On Tuesday, the United Nations said that the force-feeding of Guantanamo Bay prisoners was against international law and a violation of human rights. (T/P09/E1).

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).

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