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Guantanamo detainee list draws wave of complaints

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A chorus of complaints against the Bush administration erupted yesterday after the Pentagon released a previously secret list of the names and nationalities of 558 people held at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay.

Britain said its citizen should be freed after being held for years without charges. Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation commission vowed to send a delegation to the prison to make sure Afghans are not being mistreated. China demanded custody of a group of Muslim separatists so it can prosecute them on terrorism charges.

The list, released Wednesday under orders of a federal judge in a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by Associated Press, may provide the first proof of life to families whose relatives have disappeared, said Antonella Notari, spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

About 490 detainees from about 40 countries are at the base. The Red Cross, the only outside agency the United States has allowed to visit the detainees, previously had access to the list but was not allowed to make it public.

The information stirred anger in many countries. In Pakistan, a senior official said it shows Washington concealed information. Egyptian and Jordanian security officials said none of their citizen detainees had criminal records or known terrorist connections. Activists in Mauritania and Bahrain demanded freedom for their citizens, who have gone nearly five years without trial.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban's former ambassador to Pakistan, who was held from 2002 to late 2005 in Guantanamo Bay, said the world deserved a better idea of who remained behind bars and whether they committed crimes.

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