Thursday, June 11, 2009

And God bless Bermuda, too, for resettling Uighurs

Bermuda takes 4 Uighur detainees from Gitmo
June 11, 2009

Four Chinese Muslims detained at Guantanamo Bay prison were freed Thursday and resettled in Bermuda, sparking complaints from China and Britain even as the Obama administration tried to iron out details for sending more detainees to the Pacific island of Palau.

The four were among 17 Chinese Muslims, or Uighurs, picked up in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2001. They remained at the military detention center in Cuba even after the U.S. government had determined they weren't enemy combatants and should be released. Their fate was in limbo for months while courts and nations debated their future...

Bermuda Premier Ewart Brown said the men will be allowed to live in Bermuda, a British territory in the Atlantic, initially as refugees but they would be permitted to pursue citizenship and would have the right to work, travel and "potentially settle elsewhere." Brown said negotiations with Washington over settling the Uighurs began last month and he had no security concerns because the men had been cleared by U.S. courts. But Britain, which handles Bermuda's defense, security and foreign affairs expressed displeasure at the move...

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