Saturday, May 06, 2006

Albania takes Guantanamo Uighurs

Five Chinese Muslim men have been released from the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay and flown to Albania for resettlement, the US says.

US officials had concluded the ethnic Uighers represented no danger but

did not want to return them to China for fear they would face persecution.

Uighurs are seeking a homeland in the western Chinese province of Xinjiang.

The US State Department called Albania's offer to resettle the men,

"an important humanitarian gesture".

'Incredible news'

Two of the men, Abu Bakker Qassim and A'del Abdu al-Hakim,

had taken their bid for freedom all the way to the US Supreme Court.

They had been forced to remain in the camp even though the US

military determined a year ago they were not "enemy combatants"

as had been thought when they were captured in Pakistan in 2001.

The Bush administration did not want to admit them to the US,

and was seeking another country to take them.BBC

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