Uighurs Roam Bermuda Without Security
What's wrong with this picture?? They may be among the least threatening of the detainees, but they lived among the top terrorists in the world. I wonder what they learned from their 'teachers'? --- alh1020
FOXNews.com, Saturday, June 13, 2009
FOX News spotted the newly freed detainees at a guest cottage complex on the island without security or electronic monitoring, but their attorney said they will have to periodically check in with local police
Four of the Chinese Muslims, or Uighurs, released to Bermuda from the Guantanamo Bay prison appear to be getting used to life in paradise.
FOX News spotted the newly freed detainees at a guest cottage complex on the island without security or electronic monitoring, but their attorney said they will have to periodically check in with local police.
The release of the Uighurs comes amid increasing political tensions in Washington over what to do with the more than 200 detainees being held at the Guantanamo facility following President Obama's pledge to close the facility within a year of taking office.
But the Uighurs may be among the least threatening of the detainees whose fate must be decided, given that the Justice Department under the Bush administration already had decided that they should no longer be classified as "enemy combatants."
A September 2008 federal court motion filed by the Justice Department confirmed their change of status and declared that all 17 Uighurs being held at Gunatanamo should be resettled in a foreign country.
The Uighurs will be eligible for Bermudian passports in the future, but the U.S. has a mechanism in place to block their entry into the U.S. unless the federal government chooses to let them in.
Their attorney says the Uighurs are determined to stay in Bermuda as part of a guest worker program. There is a provision in that program that in limited circumstances allows guest workers to get Bermudian citizenship.
However, the transfer of the Uighurs has been criticized not only by U.S. Republican lawmakers but by the governments of the United Kingdom, which controls the territory of Bermuda, and China, which wants the Uighurs returned.
On Friday, some members of the Bermudan government who said they'd not been informed of the transfer questioned the wisdom of moving the inmates to the island located 640 miles off the coast of North Carolina, saying it could hurt tourism, which is Bermuda's chief industry.
But the Bermudan government defended its decision to take the Uighurs, whom the U.S. feared would face torture if sent back to China.
Uighurs Roam Bermuda Without Security - Political News - FOXNews.com
David Miliband calls Hillary Clinton to voice anger over Guantánamo inmates' transfer to Bermuda
By Toby Harnden in Washington
Published: 6:34PM BST 12 Jun 2009
David Miliband has telephoned Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, to express the government's disappointment at the deal.
British officials were informed the four Chinese Uighurs were heading to the United Kingdom's oldest dependency only as they boarded their plane for Bermuda on Wednesday night.
A British diplomat said: "The Foreign Secretary registered his surprise. It was a regrettable mistake. Bermuda, the UK and the US now need to work together to fix it and make sure it doesn't happen again."
A senior State Department official said this diplomatic understatement masked a real anger over the Obama administration's oversight among British officials, telling ABC News: "They're pissed".
The State Department denied it had bypassed Britain but admitted that it dealt directly with Bermuda, a territory under the sovereignty of the UK, which is responsible for foreign policy and security.
Ian Kelly, State Department spokesman, said: "We understand that there are some concerns about some of the details of the resettlement, and we're confident that we can work these things through with the government of the UK."
Britain's anger is directed principally at Ewart Brown, the Bermudan premier. But the UK's responsibility for the security of Bermuda is well known to US diplomats and the decision to ignore this could be a sign of diminished British clout in Washington.
Mr Brown said that the Uighurs, a Muslim minority from China's Xinjiang province would be "provided with the opportunity to become naturalised citizens and thereafter afforded the right to travel and leave Bermuda, potentially settling elsewhere".
Adbul Nasser, one of the four freed Uighurs, hailed Bermuda's decision.
"Today you have let freedom ring," he said in a statement.
David Miliband calls Hillary Clinton to voice anger over Guant
There's an interesting history lesson in all this and why the British are so pissed off.
In 1864, the Uyghurs had finally managed to win their independence from the Qing Dynasty, but then the British helped pay for another invasion so that the Uyghur nation, East Turkestan, would not be swallowed up by Russian expansionism in the area. Thanks to the British funding, the re-occupation was finally successful in 1884, and they've been more or less pacified until this day.
So no doubt these Uyghurs have hated sentiments against not only their Chinese occupiers but of Great Britain and the West in general.
|All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:30 PM.|
Powered by vBulletin Version 3.7.4