2 inmates released from ex-Guantanamo detention center arrive in Germany

BERLIN (AP) — Two former inmates of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay have arrived in Germany, where they are to begin new lives, the nation's top security official said Thursday.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the men had arrived safely, one going to Hamburg and the other to the southwestern state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Both were undergoing medical exams after which they will be assisted in setting up new lives.

De Maiziere said both former inmates had asked that their identities not be made public, but the London-based organization Reprieve said in a statement that a Saudi-born Palestinian inmate who it had been assisting, Ayman al Shurafa, had arrived in Hamburg.

The group praised the German government for offering al Shurafa medical care and a home after nearly nine years in the U.S.-run prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"While being held in Guantanamo, Ayman suffered from depression, along with various physical ailments caused by his time in Camp 6," Reprieve said in a statement.

It offered no information on the other former prisoner.

De Maiziere noted that Germany took in another former inmate from Guantanamo in 2006 — Murat Kurnaz, a Turkish national who was born and grew up in Germany.

The minister said that by taking in the three, Germany had "made its humanitarian contribution to closing the detention center."