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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Guantanamo Uygurs Not To Be Returned to China

China Human Rights

China torture fears hamper jail releases

The Financial Times reports a US official source as stating that the US has ruled out the return of 22 Uighur prisoners held at its Guantanamo Bay detention centre to China because of fears they could be tortured or executed.

The Uygurs, natives of Xinjaing Uygur Autonomous Region in north western China, were captured in Afghanistan as part of the US intervention in that country and apparently have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing and are free to be released. The problem apparently is that no country has of yet offered to provide them refuge.

China has an extremely poor record in the treatment of Uygurs they consider to be "terrorists", a euphenismm in reality for those Uygurs that harbour "Separatist" leanings. Since 1997 Amnestyy International claims that it has documented the execution of 124 Uygurs and the imprisonment of thousands more on various charges relating to "terrorism" and "separatism."

Mistreatment of Uygur prisoners including torture has also been noted. As recently as October 2004 an executed Uygur had released a journal he had written documenting his horrendous treatment at the hands of the Chinese before escaping to Nepal only to be returned and executed. (Executed Uyghur Refugee Left Torture Testimony Behind)

Several Human Rights groups have voiced concerns about the fate of the Guantanamo Uygurs if forced to return to China and it appears their pleas have been heard by US officials.

"China torture fears hamper jail releases" FT.com Home US. 22/6/04 (23/6/04)