- Title: CHINA: China objects to U.S. move to resettle two Uighurs to Switzerland
- Date: 26th March 2010
- Summary: SLATE INFORMATION
- Embargoed: 10th April 2010 13:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement
- Reuters ID: LVAADY6JTI5ED1CP0LP7F91URIFK
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: China firmly opposes the resettlement of two Uighur suspects held in Guantanamo Bay to Switzerland.
China on Thursday (March 25) opposed the transfer of two Chinese Uighur brothers, who were held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, to Switzerland.
The U.S. Justice Department made the announcement on Wednesday (March 24).
"China's stance is clear and firm. We are strongly against the United States. resettling the suspects to a third country, and we oppose any countries accepting them for any reason. We have discussed the matter seriously with relevant countries," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang told a regular news conference.
China has in the past demanded that Uighurs held at Guantanamo be returned but the U.S. government said it could not do so because they would face persecution, and has searched for months for countries willing to accept them.
Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking Muslim people native to China's far western region of Xinjiang. Many Uighurs chafe at Chinese controls on their religion and culture.
Last year, Xinjiang's regional capital Urumqi was racked by violence between Uighurs and majority Han Chinese, in which at least 200 people died.
The two men transferred were Arkin Mahmud and Bahtiyar Mahmud, according to their lawyer. They will live in the canton of Jura in northwestern Switzerland.
There are five Uighurs left at the Guantanamo facility. Four other Uighurs were resettled in Bermuda while Albania took five and six went to the Pacific island of Palau, which has also offered to take the remaining five.
Switzerland agreed last month to take the two detainees, despite a panel of parliament's lower house recommending against accepting the pair, citing security fears after the attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner last December.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None