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Ottawa Will Not Take In 17 Chinese Muslims From Guantanamo

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Author Topic: Ottawa Will Not Take In 17 Chinese Muslims From Guantanamo  (Read 63 times)
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« on: June 05, 2009, 11:43:29 am »

            Ottawa Rejects Washington's Request To Take In 17 Chinese Muslims From Guantanamo

June 5, 2009   
AHN Staff
Ottawa, Ontario

- Canada is not accepting any detainee from Guantanamo Bay, including 17 Chinese Muslim Washington asked Ottawa to take in.

Kory Teneycke, spokesman of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, aired Thursday evening the stand of the federal government on Washington's request. Teneycke said, quoted by CanWest News Service, "We had a previous request from the Bush administration as well.... But given that these detainees have no link with Canada.... I do not see our policy changing. I don't see us taking any detainees from Guantanamo."

A U.S. judge cleared last year the 17 ethnic Uighurs of being terror threats to the United States and mandated their release. However, they are still detained at the U.S. military facility in Cuba. The 17 have been in Guantanamo for seven years without charge.

While Washington is looking for a willing host to the 17, China has requested for the repatriation of the Uighurs, but the U.S. has turned down Beijing to protect the 17 from possible torture.

The Chinese Muslims were caught in Afghanistan in late 2001. Five Uighurs were taken in by Albania in 2006, but after that no other country agreed to provide refuge to the Uighur detainees.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. last month appointed two members to the Special Task Force on Detention Policy, which has the mandate to examine the transfer of Guantanamo inmates to other nations to ensure the movement meets all domestic and international legal obligations and to protect the prisoners from torture and inhumane treatment.

The appointment complies with the Jan. 22 order by U.S. President Barack Obama to shut down Guantanamo Bay.

Harper is refusing to take in not only the 17, but also half-Afghan, half-Canadian Omar Khadr, who is detained in Guantanamo since 2001 over accusations of throwing a grenade which killed an American soldier in Afghanistan. According to CanWest, Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney was open to the possibility of opening Ottawa's doors to three Uighurs who have Canadian sponsors. Kenney was considering granting the three temporary residence permits.
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