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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2675

Chinese muslim Gitmo detainees moved to new places

By Wajid Ali Syed – Washington Correspondent for Asian Tribune

Washington, 11 June, (Asiantribune.com): After months of legal uncertainty, a group of Chinese Muslims who have been held for years at the detention camp for suspected terrorists in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will be resettled in a third country.
Palau President Johnson Toribiong announced Wednesday his government would be "honored and proud" to temporarily resettle the 17 Uighurs being held at the controversial US detention center.

Toribiong agreed to Washington's request to accept the Uighurs after talks with US diplomat.

President Obama has ordered Guantanamo to be shut down by January of next year.

The Bush administration refused to designate the Uighurs as "enemy combatants." It was in late 2008 when a US federal judge ordered the men to be released into the United States. That ruling was eventually overturned by an appeals court.

The Uighurs are from China's western Xinjiang province. Beijing has accused the Uighurs, who dominate the province, as separatists who want to create an independent "East Turkestan." Washington is refusing to send the Uighurs back to China, fearing they would be persecuted.

Palau, a former US trust territory until achieving independence in 1994, maintains diplomatic relations with Taiwan, China's longtime rival, rather than Beijing.

Although they would finally be free, Pierantozzi says the Uighurs may face some unexpected challenges living in Palau, a lightly populated chain of islands located 800 kilometers east of the Philippines. Pierantozzi denied reports that her government agreed to accept $200 million in aid from the US in exchange for accepting the Uighurs.

- Asian Tribune -

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