In his letter, the Commissioner highlighted the importance and the urgency of the camp closure, calling the Guantanamo camp the “world-wide symbol of injustice and oppression, which has stained the US but to some extent also some other countries given the inter-state transfers to Guantánamo that have occurred.” He added that “serious affronts to the rule of law that have occurred in Guantánamo are very much also a matter of serious concern to Europe.”
In an attempt to address wide-spread criticism of accepting potentially harmful individuals, the Commissioner noted that “expert reports have made clear that the majority of the Guantánamo detainees have not committed hostile acts against the US or its allies, only less than ten per cent have been characterized as al-Qaeda fighters and several of them are no more than 'volunteer foot soldiers.'” Furthermore, the Commissioner added that “among the current detainees there are approximately fifty persons who are ‘cleared for release' by the US authorities but cannot be repatriated because they are stateless or likely to face torture or other serious human rights violations if forcibly returned to their home countries. They come from various countries such as Algeria, China, Libya, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia and Uzbekistan.” Appealing to the international rule of law, the Commissioner stated “that a number of the Guantánamo detainees are in need of international protection,” especially since reports have resurfaced that “some of those released and returned to their home countries have suffered serious human rights violations, such as torture and unlawful detention.”
Finally, the Commissioner expressed hope that “a decision (to accept detainees) by Council of Europe member states will constitute not merely a gesture of a humanitarian nature. They will in effect strengthen their fight against terrorism by reaffirming that all measures taken to prevent or suppress terrorist offences have to respect the rule of law and democratic values, human rights and fundamental freedoms, for which the Council of Europe was created and has worked for sixty years now.”