THE SUPPLEMENT – brought to you by the Human Rights anti-Party

After 9 Years Without Trial, Chinese Detainees Released From Guantánamo Bay

Article by Sam Cashion, co-anchor of The Supplement


———In the first prisoner transfer from the U.S.’s controversial Guantánamo Bay prison in over a year, two Chinese detainees were released Thursday after over nine years in prison without formal criminal charges.  Though a judge in 2008 ruled that they were not enemy combatants and that they were to be “immediately” released, they have remained in prison for over three years, as both the Bush and Obama administrations denied their release because of complications over repatriation as well as domestic and foreign political pressure.  They were released into El Salvador.

———The two men were among a group of 22 ethnic Uyghurs (also romanized variously as Uigurs, Uygurs, Uyghurs, and Uighurs) captured in Afghanistan and held in Guantánamo Bay since 2002.  Five of the men were released into Albania in 2006, and in 2008 the 17 remaining were ordered to be released.  However, there was concern that releasing them into their native People’s Republic of China (PRC) would be problematic, as the PRC government is fighting an offensive against separatists in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, a conflict in which the detainees may be abused by the PRC government.  Most of the Uyghur detainees were released to various nations.  Five others, including the two released yesterday (Thursday, April 19) refused to be released to Palau and the Maldives.

———The three remaining in Guantánamo refused to be released into El Salvador.  It is unknown where and when they will be released.  169 detainees now remain in Guantánamo Bay.

Further reading:

The New York Times‘ story

Democracy Now!‘s story



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