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View Full Version : Guanatanamodiki gunasiz Uyghurlar heqqide UAA nimish qiliwatidu?



Concerned Uyghur
07-05-09, 20:37
Yéqindin béri, burun Bush hökümiti terepidin gunasiz (non enemy combatants) dep élan qilinghan Guantanamodiki 17 Uyghurlarni tosattinla "térorchilar" dep atash Amérikining herqaysi axbarat wastilirida, internette, bolupmu respoblikichilar (republicans) terepidin hedep ewjige chiqmaqta. Bügün Amérika parlaméntida ötküzülgen pikir élish yighinidimu, Attorney General Eric Holder bu jehette Obama hökümitining meydanini ézip chüshendürüshke mejbur bolghan. Töwendiki xewerde eytilishiche, burun Uyghurlarning kishilik hoquqining aktip qollighuchisi bolghan Rep. Frank Wolf (Viriginia shitatiliq rispoblikichi) mu chapanni tetür kéyip, Guantanamo Uyghurlirini Amérikigha qoyup bérish, "Amérika xelqining bixeterlikige biwaste tehdit élip kélidu" dep bildürgen.

Mening ich-ichimdin tit-tit boluwatqinim, mushundaq bir weziyette Uyghur Amérika Uyushmisidin héch bir ipade bolmaywatidu (Belkim UAA bu heqte heriket elip bériwatqan bolsimu, buni anglimighan bolushimiz mumkin). Qandaqla bolmisun, bu heqte PR (public relations) we bashqa pa'aliyet élip bérilsa yaxshi bolatti. Déyilip ötkendek, bu Uyghurlar alla burun gunahsiz (Amérikining düshmini emes) dep bir qarar qilinip bolghan. Mushundaq ahwalda ular terepte tursaq özimizning "térorchilarni yaqlighuchi" atlip qélishimizdin ensirimisekmu bolidu ...

http://www.kansascity.com/444/story/1184555.html

Posted on Thu, May. 07, 2009
GOP ratchets up debate over closing Guantanamo
By LESLEY CLARK
McClatchy Newspapers

Republicans on Thursday amped up opposition to President Barack Obama's plan to close the prison camps at Guantanamo Bay, even as Attorney General Eric Holder sought to reassure senators that the United States won't release anyone it considers a terrorist.

Holder's remarks came during a Senate budget hearing in which Democratic and Republican senators sought reassurance about the administration's plans to relocate the 241 inmates now confined to the detention camp in Cuba.

Across the Capitol, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives introduced what they called the "Keep Terrorists out of America Act," legislation aimed at thwarting the administration's efforts to close the controversial camp. It would require a state governor or legislature first to approve any transfer or release of a detainee into that state.

"The world suddenly did not become safer on Jan. 20, 2009," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. "Our constituents don't want these terrorists in their neighborhoods."

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky carried the message to the Senate floor, saying that Republican concerns "are rooted in the fact that Americans like the fact that we haven't been attacked at home since 9-11, and they don't want the terrorists at Guantanamo back on the battlefield or in their backyards."

Of the 779 people who have been imprisoned at Guantanamo, 538 already have been released or transferred to other countries for detention or trial, the vast majority of them by the Bush administration.

Holder told the Senate that the administration has three task forces looking at how to handle the detainees. He didn't rule out detainees being brought to U.S. soil, but he promised Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., that the agency would consult with state and local officials if it decided to use any U.S. facilities. Mikulski supports Obama's plan to empty the Guantanamo prison camps.

"Paramount in our concern is the safety of the American people," Holder told Mikulski. "We are not going to put at risk the safety of the people of this country."

Obama has said closing the camps within a year will improve U.S. standing around the world.

Republicans circulated news releases Thursday with pictures of 10 of the best-known Guantanamo detainees and accused the president of seeking to fulfill a campaign pledge without first developing a plan for "hundreds of the world's most dangerous terrorists."

"We are trying to solve an image problem at the expense of human lives," said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

At the White House, press secretary Robert Gibbs said he hadn't yet seen the House bill. In addition to requiring approval from state governments, the bill would require "strict criteria and certification standards" before a detainee could be brought to the United States.

Holder told Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., that the United States wouldn't release anyone it considers a terrorist, but he added, "Some (detainees) are going to be released. Some are going to be tried. Some will be detained on a fairly extended basis.

"And so those who will be released are those who we think can be released and be released on a safe basis."

At issue, in part, is the definition of a terrorist. The Obama administration has said it's willing to bring to the United States some of 17 Uighur Muslims at Guantanamo whose release a federal judge ordered last year. The Uighurs are Chinese citizens who fear persecution if they're returned to their homeland.

The Bush administration's Justice Department concluded last year that the Uighurs were no longer "enemy combatants" and were eligible for release, but some Republican leaders have continued to cast them as terrorists.

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., long an advocate of Uighur rights, wrote to Obama this week expressing his "grave concern" that the Uighurs' release onto U.S. soil "could directly threaten the security of the American people."

(Staff writer Carol Rosenberg contributed to this report from Miami.)

Uyghur News
07-05-09, 20:43
yene bir xewer:

Holder seeks to calm uproar over Guantanamo
Thu May 7, 2009 7:36pm BST

By Tabassum Zakaria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday sought to tamp down uproar in Congress over the possibility that Guantanamo Bay detainees could be set free in the United States, saying he would not endanger the safety of any country.

President Barack Obama has ordered the closure of the U.S. detention base in Cuba for terrorism suspects set up after the September 11 attacks and the Justice Department and other security agencies will recommend what to do with the 241 prisoners.

Earlier this year, Holder said it was possible that 17 Chinese Muslims, members of the Uighur ethnic group, held for years at Guantanamo Bay and two or three others could be freed in the United States.

He has sought European commitments to take some of the prisoners, and told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Thursday the United States was also talking to allies in the Middle East to take others.

But no final decisions have been made and the process of moving the prisoners would likely start "in the next few months," he said.

"Paramount in our concern is the safety of the American people," Holder said. "We are not going to put at risk the safety of the people of this country."

POLICIES ON DETAINEES

The Justice Department's budget request for this year included funding three task forces set up to determine what to do with the prisoners, develop policies for handling terrorism suspects and evaluate interrogation practices.

"It will not be the intention of this task force review, the intention of this administration or this attorney general to place anybody in any part of this world who is a risk to the community, to the country that is receiving the individuals," Holder said.

Obama's budget requests $50 million for the Defense Department and $30 million for the Justice Department to pay for closing Guantanamo Bay and Holder said the money would go to staff, facilities and equipment to review classified materials on the detainees.

Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat, questioned the amount for the Justice Department and said she feared it might be laying "the groundwork for the dumping of terrorists" into state and federal prisons.

"We have to make sure that streets and neighborhoods don't think that they're going to be the repository of Guantanamo prisoners," she said.

Holder said anyone considered a terrorist would not be released inside the United States.

"You have to understand that we're going to be making decisions with regard to these people. Some are going to be released, some are going to be tried, some will be detained on a fairly extended basis," he said.

A group of House Republicans on Thursday announced a bill, "Keep Terrorists Out of America Act," to prevent Guantanamo Bay prisoners from being moved to the United States.

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

© Thomson Reuters 2009.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/usPoliticsNews/idUKTRE5466NL20090507

Unregistered
07-05-09, 20:59
bu hammisi oyun siyasat,uyghurni kozur qilip otturgha chiqirish,haqiqi chong oyunlar tixi andilikta bolidu. vatandashlar yiqin arida Izraliyaning bir tatqiqatchisi maqala ilan qilip Sharqi Turkistanliq Uyghurlar ichida azaldin kasipi tarlilangan Xitay Ishipiyonliri harkat ilip barmaqta digan pikirni otturgha qoyghan ikan,shu maqalini Uaa tor bitidin izdap tapalmidim,bilidighanlar bolsa tapsilatini tonushturup bargan bolsanglar.qaysi aftor qachan qaysi uchur matbuada nima dap chushandurgan raxmat!

Unregistered
08-05-09, 14:19
Qarighanda Guantanamodiki Uyghurlar Amerikdiki demokratchilar bilen jumhriyetchilerning oz-ara elishidighan siyasi oyunining bir qismigha aylinip qalghandek. Bundaq sharaitta, jumhuriyetchilerning hessiyati ularning eqlini bir yaqqa qayrip qoyuwatqandek qilidu ...

Unregistered
08-05-09, 15:48
esli bu ish tahtidin chushmise kollap wakirap berse yanchuk toluklunup toshup turudighan gep. emdi tuyuksiz bu desmidin ayrilip kilishni halimighanlirimu bardur belkim. likin u kirindashlargha tang atidighangha yaman uzun bir kedem kaldi.

Unregistered
08-05-09, 17:25
UAA nime ish qilatti. Guantanamodiki Uyghurning qoyup berilishi uchun keche-kunduz inqilap qiliwatidu. Towendiki hewerni we televizorni korung:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/terrorism/jan-june09/detainees_05-07.html






yene bir xewer:

Holder seeks to calm uproar over Guantanamo
Thu May 7, 2009 7:36pm BST

By Tabassum Zakaria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday sought to tamp down uproar in Congress over the possibility that Guantanamo Bay detainees could be set free in the United States, saying he would not endanger the safety of any country.

President Barack Obama has ordered the closure of the U.S. detention base in Cuba for terrorism suspects set up after the September 11 attacks and the Justice Department and other security agencies will recommend what to do with the 241 prisoners.

Earlier this year, Holder said it was possible that 17 Chinese Muslims, members of the Uighur ethnic group, held for years at Guantanamo Bay and two or three others could be freed in the United States.

He has sought European commitments to take some of the prisoners, and told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Thursday the United States was also talking to allies in the Middle East to take others.

But no final decisions have been made and the process of moving the prisoners would likely start "in the next few months," he said.

"Paramount in our concern is the safety of the American people," Holder said. "We are not going to put at risk the safety of the people of this country."

POLICIES ON DETAINEES

The Justice Department's budget request for this year included funding three task forces set up to determine what to do with the prisoners, develop policies for handling terrorism suspects and evaluate interrogation practices.

"It will not be the intention of this task force review, the intention of this administration or this attorney general to place anybody in any part of this world who is a risk to the community, to the country that is receiving the individuals," Holder said.

Obama's budget requests $50 million for the Defense Department and $30 million for the Justice Department to pay for closing Guantanamo Bay and Holder said the money would go to staff, facilities and equipment to review classified materials on the detainees.

Senator Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat, questioned the amount for the Justice Department and said she feared it might be laying "the groundwork for the dumping of terrorists" into state and federal prisons.

"We have to make sure that streets and neighborhoods don't think that they're going to be the repository of Guantanamo prisoners," she said.

Holder said anyone considered a terrorist would not be released inside the United States.

"You have to understand that we're going to be making decisions with regard to these people. Some are going to be released, some are going to be tried, some will be detained on a fairly extended basis," he said.

A group of House Republicans on Thursday announced a bill, "Keep Terrorists Out of America Act," to prevent Guantanamo Bay prisoners from being moved to the United States.

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

© Thomson Reuters 2009.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/usPoliticsNews/idUKTRE5466NL20090507

Uyghur News
08-05-09, 18:09
UAA nime ish qilatti. Guantanamodiki Uyghurning qoyup berilishi uchun keche-kunduz inqilap qiliwatidu. Towendiki hewerni we televizorni korung:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/terrorism/jan-june09/detainees_05-07.html

Trishiwatqanliqinglar üchün rehmet. Teximu tirishinglar!

Uyghur News
11-05-09, 15:29
http://mediamatters.org/research/200905110027

Ignoring Bush concession, Bozell declares: "[T]here's no one" held at Guantánamo "who should be released"

May 11, 2009 2:46 pm ET

SUMMARY: Brent Bozell falsely claimed of Guantánamo detainees: "There's no one there who should be released." In fact, the Bush administration reclassified a group of detainees belonging to the Uighur ethnic group as "no longer enemy combatants."

During the May 8 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Media Research Center president and syndicated columnist L. Brent Bozell falsely claimed of the detainees held at the Guantánamo Bay detention facility: "[T]hey're in there for a reason. There's no one there who should be released." In fact, the Bush administration reclassified a group of detainees belonging to the Uighur ethnic group from western China as "no longer enemy combatants."

After the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the Uighurs' release into the United States, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned that decision in a February 18 opinion. The panel majority's opinion summarized the Uighurs' situation:

In the Parhat case, the [appeals] court ruled that the government had not presented sufficient evidence that the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement was associated with al Qaida or the Taliban, or had engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners. Parhat, 532 F.3d at 850. Parhat therefore could not be held as an enemy combatant. The government saw no material differences in its evidence against the other Uighurs, and therefore decided that none of the petitioners should be detained as enemy combatants.

Releasing petitioners to their country of origin poses a problem. Petitioners fear that if they are returned to China they will face arrest, torture or execution. United States policy is not to transfer individuals to countries where they will be subject to mistreatment. Petitioners have not sought to comply with the immigration laws governing an alien's entry into the United States. Diplomatic efforts to locate an appropriate third country in which to resettle them are continuing. In the meantime, petitioners are held under the least restrictive conditions possible in the Guantanamo military base.

The appeals court panel majority held that the federal courts lacked the authority to order the government to release the Uighurs into the United States:

The government has represented that it is continuing diplomatic attempts to find an appropriate country willing to admit petitioners, and we have no reason to doubt that it is doing so. Nor do we have the power to require anything more.

Bozell's claim that "[t]here's no one there who should be released" echoes a claim made by conservative media figures. As Media Matters for America has documented, during President Bush's end-of-term "legacy tour," media figures repeatedly failed to ask about the Uighurs when Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney described the Guantánamo Bay detainees generally as "illegal combatants" or "unlawful combatants," respectively.

From the May 8 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

HANNITY: We're going to release the guys from Gitmo, and they may be coming to a town near us.

And the Republicans now are fighting back, and they've come out with this very hard-hitting ad, which, by the way, I think is very effective. I'll tell you up front. But let's roll this ad as a reminder of why we shouldn't do it.

[begin video clip]

ON-SCREEN TEXT: That day changed America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The FAA has banned all take-offs at all airports across America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: [Inaudible] now saying another aircraft unbelievably has crashed into the Pentagon.

ON-SCREEN TEXT: Ramzi Binalshibh, key facilitator of the 9/11 attacks. Primary communicator between hijackers and al Qaeda. Captured; held: Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Abu Zubaydah, oversaw training camp used by 9/11 hijackers. Received $50,000 to fund the 9/11 attacks. Captured; held: Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Al-Qaeda's top operative, mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks. Captured; held: Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

How does closing Guantanamo Bay make us safer?

[end video clip]

HANNITY: Brent, I think that's one of the most powerful things Republicans have done in a long time.

BOZELL: In years -- in absolute years. And I think this has the possibility of changing the entire debate, because what it shows is that it is the height of irresponsibility for the Obama administration to have a plan A, which is close down -- close it down, but plan B -- it has no plan B of what to put -- where to put these killers, these mass murderers.

And for them to say -- for the Obama administration to say that they have a plan where they're going to release some and not release others. You don't release them because you want to close it down. If they were releasable, they should have been released by now. If you want to close it down, they're in there for a reason. There's no one there who should be released.

— T.A.

Copyright © 2009 Media Matters for America. All rights reserved.

The Spiegel
12-05-09, 15:41
05/12/2009 01:03 PM
WILL GERMANY TAKE GUANTANAMO DETAINEES?
A Worrying Wish List from Washington

By SPIEGEL Staff

Berlin is being asked to take in nine Guantanamo inmates. So far the development is perceived as a first test of trans-Atlantic relations under President Barack Obama. In Germany, there are legitimate questions about the Uighur Chinese it is being asked to take in --but the Interior Ministry also appears to be buying time in an election year.

Yes, he travelled to Afghanistan. Yes, he learned to fire a semi-automatic weapon there. "But I only ever used the weapon once, I shot four or five bullets. And never at people. And never in combat situations."

That's what Hassan Anvar told his captors at Guantanamo about his time at a training camp in the mountainous Tora Bora region in Afghanistan. He also told them that he doesn't hold a grudge against the United States of America or its allies. "I went to the camp to train to fight against the Chinese," he said.

Yet these are the kinds of quotes -- and stories -- that have been exciting debate in Berlin and worrying the regional governments in states like Bavaria. Because if it was up to the Obama administration, individuals like Anvar would already be on a plane bound for Germany -- most likely, with a one-way ticket and best wishes for the future. A future somewhere as far away as possible from the United States, that is.

Following the first visit by US Attorney General Eric Holder to Berlin the week before last, representatives of the German government also met with Daniel Fried, assistant secretary of state for European affairs and the senior diplomat who has, among his responsibilities, the task of trying to resettle as many as 60 of the remaining prisoners at Guantanamo outside of the US.

Officially Holder said there were no specific requests being made of Germany -- but then Fried quietly passed on a list of nine potential names. Hassan Anvar's name was on that list as were eight others, all of whom have much in common with him.

Anvar, who is in his mid-30s, comes from the village of Tashkoruq in the Chinese province of Xinjiang. Anvar is from the Uighur ethnic group, mainly resident in eastern and central Asia. The Uighurs make up almost half of the population of the Xinjiang region, are mainly Muslim and have been the subject of brutal repression by the Chinese. Shortly after the September 11 attacks in the US, and under some pressure from the Chinese government, Washington moved to recognize the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) -- to which Anvar and the other potentially Germany-bound Uighurs belong -- as a terrorist organization. As a result more than 20 ETIM members were brought to Guantanamo as "enemy combatants."

The Obama administration's wish to grant Anvar and his fellow prisoners asylum of some sort in Europe has divided German politicians. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has used the opportunity to send a friendly message to Washington saying she is ready to offer her "help and support" in this matter.

During their weekend party conference, the Greens declared their willingness to accept the Uighurs. Obama's planned closure of Guantanamo should not be hindered "by refusal, or by protracted consideration," they said.

Meanwhile Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann -- of the Christian Social Union, Bavaria's sister party to Merkel's Christian Democrats -- called the request an "imposition" by the US. "We don't need people like this in Germany," he told the mass circulation tabloid Bild. "It would be extremely naive (of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier) to let these people into the country." Steinmeier himself, though, has kept relatively quiet on the subject -- though he has been consistent in his support of the Obama administration.

In addition to issues of security, however, Steinmeier is equally concerned with the issue's foreign policy implications. Firstly, this is one of the initial tests of the new trans-Atlantic relationship between the central Europeans and the Americans since the change of administration in the White House. At the same time Steinmeier, who is also the Social Democratic candidate for chancellor, has to consider the damage it could do to at-times volatile German-Chinese relations. As soon as the Obama administration's wishes with regard to the Uighur prisoners were made public, a variety of Chinese diplomats paid a visit to Steinmeier's offices. What, they wondered, was the German position on this Uighur question? The Chinese were told that a final decision had not yet been made.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU), for his part, is likely to resist accepting the Uighurs. His ministry is responsible for deciding whether the former Guantanamo prisioners will pose a security threat to Germany. And, after a first look at the information that Washington had supplied about the prisoners, the German reaction was curt. Some very important questions remain unanswered, August Hanning, a top official at the Interior Ministry wrote to Reinhard Silberberg, his colleague in the Foreign Ministry. There are at least four issues that need to be clarified, he said. The relatively thin dossiers on the prisoners indicated they had gone through a terrorist training camp and had spread propaganda for their organization ETIM. "So we can assume a potential for danger, at least in the abstract," Hanning said.

But, Hanning continued, the dossiers from Guantanamo did not touch upon whether the prisoners could have become more radicalized during their years at Guantanamo. He also asked whether the Americans would ever allow the Uighurs onto American soil. And finally, Hanning wanted to know why the Uighurs could not be returned to Kirgizia or Kazakhstan, where they had lived before they were imprisoned. "It's not really obvious to me why exactly the German Federal Republic should be taking these individuals in," he said.

The letter can be read as a preliminary rejection by the Interior Ministry in addition to being a campaign ploy ahead of German general elections this autumn. Furthermore, Schäuble is aware that the Obama administration will be unable to answer the questions in full. It is a ploy for time and an attempt to push the problem back onto the Foreign Ministry and through them, back onto the Americans. Before the questions are answered in Washington, no final decisions can be made in Berlin, seems to be the message. Schäuble, of course, knows that he probably won't be able to refuse indefinitely, but until then he wants to raise the price for his co-operation as high as possible.

In a reply to Schäuble, the Foreign Ministry suggests that a solid catalogue of questions be developed, which can then be forwarded to Washington through diplomatic channels. If, after this, questions still remain, "German security experts and medical personnel could be flown to Washington for further talks, and possibly even to Guantanamo to talk with the Uighurs themselves."

Then again, even if the dossiers were more helpful, Schäuble would still have a dilemma on his hands. Because basically it would be almost impossible to come to a decision about the Uighur prisoners from the information the Germans have been given. After all, the incriminating evidence comes from a place where prisoners were regularly abused and where human and legal rights were often ignored. In fact, outside of the dossiers themselves, American judges have cleared the Uighur prisoners of any suspicion that they were "enemy combatants." And even the US Administration has declared them not guilty.

Still, Schäuble's security analysts have to take all details into account. The 29 year old Uighur, Adel Noori, for example, spat at his wardens. Arkin Mahmud, 44, made death threats against his guards and also against former US President George W. Bush; he's also known to have thrown excrement. A particularly difficult case could be that of Ahmad Tourson, 38, who acknowledged he had worked for ETIM and received weapons training.

As for Abdul Razak, 30, his US captors said that he received military training and that he travelled to Tora Bora where Osama bin Laden also was. However Razak told his lawyers that the first time he had even heard about ETIM, let alone al-Qaida, was in the prison. Which is why the US lawyer Seema Saifee, who represents four of the nine former prisoners potentially bound for Germany, considers the dossiers simply absurd. "American judges have rejected these allegations yet now other countries are supposed to make a decision based upon them," she complains.

Of all of the remaining Guantanamo prisoners, the Uighurs are the group "with the least risks", argue high ranking US Officials. And there is also a high possibility of successful integration into the German community, mainly because of a large Uighur community in Munich. There are around 500 Uighurs living in the Bavarian state capital, making it one of the largest such exile communities in the world. They have their own fast food outlets and supermarkets, not to mention a common language and culture. One of the former prisoners, Noori, even has a cousin there, who's been living in Munich for the past nine years.

Still after the lukewarm reception that US Attorney General Holder got during his European trip, Washington now seems to realize they too might have to take a couple of Uighurs in before European allies like Germany do the same -- if for no other reason than to present a common front to the Chinese.

Former State Department legal advisor John Bellinger believes it is "very probable" that the Obama Administration will do this. You cannot expect the Europeans to do what you are not prepared to do yourselves, said another high ranking American official, who believes that Germany could eventually be asked to consider further prisoners of different nationalities.

When it comes to the Uighurs, time is running out for the Obama adminstration. A US judge ordered the release of all 17 of the remaining Uighur prisoners last October. A court of appeals upheld that ruling, but another lawsuit is pending. Obama has to hurry -- otherwise American judges may force him to allow the former prisoners into America. Meanwhile his attorney general is looking on the bright side, in the hope that the matter can be resolved in good time. As Holder said in Berlin, "nowhere have I heard a definitive no."

RALF BESTE, MATTHIAS GEBAUER, JOHN GOETZ, MARCEL ROSENBACH, HOLGER STARK

URL:

* http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,624278,00.html

Globe and Mail
12-05-09, 15:46
Harper enlists activist to help Celil
U.S. businessman known for obtaining freedom of political prisoners in China


CAMPBELL CLARK

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

May 12, 2009 at 3:37 AM EDT

OTTAWA — The federal government has enlisted U.S. businessman turned activist John Kamm in efforts to secure the release of jailed Uyghur-Canadian Huseyin Celil and others in China, turning to more sophisticated approaches after years of fruitless efforts.

Mr. Kamm, a former president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, is legendary for obtaining the freedom of dissidents through respectful but persistent inquiries with Chinese officials at all levels - using an approach Beijing accepts to win ground on a tense topic. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his ministers initially criticized the Chinese government when Mr. Celil, a Canadian citizen from China's Uyghur minority, was sentenced to life in prison in 2006 after a closed-door trial on terrorism charges.

But as they have attempted to thaw chilled relations with China in recent months, their criticisms regarding Mr. Celil and other rights cases have been less public.

Three weeks ago, Canadian officials brought in Mr. Kamm to seek his advice and help in meeting with aides to Mr. Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, as well as with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

Mr. Kamm is beginning to work on the case of Mr. Celil, who is in a remote prison in the northeast Chinese city of Urumqi.

Brock University China expert Charles Burton, a former Canadian diplomat in China, said bringing in Mr. Kamm shows the government is looking for new options to handle such issues with "commitment and sophistication."

"I guess it also indicates that the government feels that we need to look outside Canada to get the expertise to try and engage China effectively on this matter," he said.

"The Chinese clearly respect him and are prepared to work with him despite the fact that [his organization's] raison-d'être is to try to assist people we feel have been unjustly imprisoned in China for political reasons."

The move comes as the Conservative government is trying to find its own new approach to China, with Mr. Cannon the latest minister to troop to Beijing, meeting Vice-President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi yesterday.

The Conservatives are also seeking to revive a revamped version of the Canada-China Human Rights dialogue - closed-door meetings between officials that were suspended in 2006 over criticisms they were little more than lip service to rights - but this time with domestic officials who have jurisdiction over rights issues, rather than diplomats.

After Mr. Harper's government's initial whacking of Beijing over rights cases, Canadian companies that do business in China raised fears trade would be hurt.

Mr. Kamm, once regional vice-president of Occidental Chemical Corp., made his U.S. Chamber of Commerce colleagues uneasy when he turned to pressing rights issues in China in 1990. But his Dui Hua Foundation - it means "dialogue" in Mandarin - is known for its smooth, effective touch.

"It's patience, and more importantly, persistence. You keep asking for information. You just never give up," Mr. Kamm said in an interview.

He declined to discuss Mr. Celil or any other case, but said that in general, he takes a respectful approach, making inquiries for information rather than demanding release, knowing China sometimes responds to repeated questions with early release.

He doesn't ask officials about political prisoners; he refers to the specific Chinese charge.

He fishes for better medical care, or transfer to a model prison, rather than immediate release.

He seeks to defuse the sentiment that a foreigner is insulting China's rights record, and avoids automatic replies.

"If you go in and say, 'I think this person has been wrongly imprisoned,' you'll get a stock response, which is, 'We treat people according to the rule of law.' That's the stock response," Mr. Kamm said.

"But if you say, I understand this person has cirrhosis of the liver, or ask about family visits, that's considered more helpful."

He said his work would not be viable without rights advocates pressing the issue. But he added that he uses the sales lessons from his liquor-salesman father, Arthur: concentrating on results, cultivating people in low positions because they may have authority later, and gathering the kind of details about who he is meeting that salesmen once kept in little black books. "I still do," he said.

Mr. Celil's Canadian lawyer, Chris MacLeod, said he has begun exchanging e-mails with Mr. Kamm, but the case has been through a period of "stagnation," and Canadian rights groups have called for more efforts.

"There really hasn't been a whole lot of talk recently about Mr. Celil," said Amnesty International Canada's China campaigner, Lindsay Mossman.

****

Dealing with dissidents

Some of John Kamm's lessons for dealing with China on dissidents:

DIG UP EVERYTHING

Use details about the dissident in talks with officials.

USE THEIR LANGUAGE

He doesn't use the term "political prisoner."

DON'T DEMAND, ASK QUESTIONS

He makes repeated inquiries for information.

PREVENT AUTOMATIC RESPONSES

He attempts not to make officials defensive.

TALK TO EVERYONE

Including court officials, judges, prison officials, and government officials high and low.

Huffington Post
13-05-09, 16:11
Gingrich Either Ignorant Or A Chinese Ally: Dem Rep

05/13/09 12:18 PM
I Like ItI Don’t Like It
Politics News

Bill Delahunt ripped into former House Speaker Newt Gingrich Tuesday, arguing that his recent comments about Chinese Uighurs held at Guantanamo Bay show that he is either ignorant of international law or bizarrely allying himself with communist China -- or both.

Gingrich, who condemned torture in China in 1997, told Fox News' Chris Wallace that a group of Uighurs deemed innocent by the Bush administration but still looking for a third country to take them should simply be sent to China.

"Why is that our problem?" Gingrich wondered. "Why are we protecting these guys? Why does it become an American problem?"

The answer is simple, said Delahunt, a top Democrat on the House foreign affairs committee. We own the problem because we bought it.

"Well, in this particular case, we bought it," he said. "We bought it literally because these detainees were a victim of some half-cocked initiative, put out by Cheney et. al, where they were purchased for $5,000."

In one of the least-well-thought-out projects the Bush administration engaged in following Sept. 11th, the U.S. paid bounty hunters to collect Al Qaeda associates. Unsurprisingly, those characters picked up whatever innocent people they could find and sold them to the U.S., which shipped them to Guantanamo, where they could be tortured into confessing some false connection to global terrorism.

Now that the U.S. has realized its error, Gingrich says that it "verges on insanity" to think the nation has any moral or legal obligation to the Uighers it imprisoned. It is universally understood that they would be persecuted if returned to China. Ironically, Chinese Muslim Uighers represent a pro-Western dissident movement within the country.

In fact, there is a vibrant Uigher community in Northern Virginia that has volunteered to take the detainees in. The leader of that community, Rebiya Kadeer, has met with President Bush, who praised her as a human rights leader.

"Send them to China," said Gingrich. "If a third country wants to receive them, send them to a third country. But setting this precedent that if you get picked up by Americans -- I mean, the Somalian who was recently brought here who's a pirate -- I mean, if you get picked up by the Americans, you show up in the United States, a lawyer files an amicus brief on your behalf for free, a year later you have citizenship because, after all, how can we not give you citizenship since you're now here, and in between our taxpayers pay for you -- this is, I think -- verges on insanity."

Delahunt said he found it surprising Gingrich would ally himself with China. "I guess he is unaware of the [United Nations] Convention Against Torture which obligates us not to return them to China because it's clear they would be persecuted and undoubtedly subjected to torture, incarceration and all sorts of degradation, given the history of the red, godless Chinese communist government," he said, using the terminology for China more often relied on by conservatives such as Gingrich.

"What I find particularly ironic is, here's the former Speaker allying himself with the Chinese communists. Quite an interesting development. I guess his fervent anti-communism has abated somewhat."

Ryan Grim is the author of the forthcoming book This Is Your Country On Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America

Huffington Post
13-05-09, 16:12
Gingrich Either Ignorant Or A Chinese Ally: Dem Rep



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/13/gingrich-either-ignorant_n_202935.html

National Review
13-05-09, 17:54
'Mr. Attorney General, a trained terrorist is a terrorist.' [Andy McCarthy]

One might have hoped it would not be necessary to make this point to the attorney general of the United States. But, given that hope has often been disappointed these last hundred or so days, Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) elucidates the obvious in yet another letter to AG Holder regarding the Uighur detainees, whom Holder and the administration are planning to free inside the United States:

I have grave concerns that you are playing fast and loose with the definition of “terrorist” and may be misleading the American people regarding its plans to release the Uyghur detainees into the U.S. Let me be very clear – the Uyghurs held at Guantanamo Bay are trained terrorists and members or associates of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a designated terrorist group affiliated with al Qaeda, as designated by both the U.S. government and the United Nations (U.N.). Whether their intended victims were Chinese or Americans, a trained terrorist is a terrorist.

As I discussed last week, the "trained terrorist" piece is crucial because, under federal immigration law, alien terrorists and aliens who have received training in terrorist camps may not be admitted into the United States. In any event, Representative Wolf's letter (like his other letters to the Attorney General) can be found here.

National Review
13-05-09, 17:55
'Mr. Attorney General, a trained terrorist is a terrorist.' [Andy McCarthy]

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=Mjc4YTk1OTkxN2QwM2FlYjE3YmY0NjVhMDEwYTNmMjE=

Uyghur News
15-05-09, 13:08
Lets NOT meet the Uighurs

By: Newt Gingrich
Examiner Columnist | 5/15/09 10:31 AM

President Obama has heeded his generals and decided not to release more photos of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, and good for him. Now he needs to put our national security ahead of politics once again and reverse his dangerous decision to release trained terrorists currently held at Guantanamo Bay into American suburbs.

America, meet the Uighurs.

Seventeen of the 241 terrorist detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay are Chinese Muslims known as Uighurs. These Uighurs have been allied with and trained by al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups. The goal of the Uighurs is to establish a separate sharia state.

As part of their ongoing effort to close Guantanamo Bay, the Obama administration has had to figure out what to do with the Uighurs. Officials believe that if they’re sent back to China they will be persecuted, and no third country will take them.

So the Obama administration has decided to set the Uighurs loose in America. Most likely, the lucky community that will soon be hosting the Uighurs is a neighborhood near you: Fairfax Country Virginia, where there is already a sizable (non-terrorist) Uighur community.

But the Obama administration’s plan for the Uighurs doesn’t stop there. At Guantanamo Bay, the Uighurs are known for picking up television sets on which women with bared arms appear and hurling them across the room.

Perhaps understandably, the Obama administration believes the Uighurs will need help getting adjusted to northern Virginia society, in which women with bared arms have been known to appear.

So last month Obama Administration Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair indicated that terrorist detainees released into the United States would receive public assistance. “You can’t just put them on the street,” he said.

By their own admission, Uighurs being held at Guantanamo Bay are members of or associated with the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), an al Qaeda-affiliated group designated as a terrorist organization under U.S law.

The goal of the ETIM is to establish a radical Islamist state in Asia. Last year, during the Beijing Olympics, the ETIM released a video in which an ETIM member stood in front of an al Qaeda flag and threatened anyone who attended the games.

Prior to 9/11, the Uighurs received jihadist training in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, a known al Qaeda and Taliban training ground. What’s more, they were trained, most likely in the weapons, explosives and ideology of mass killing, by Abdul Haq, a member of al Qaeda’s shura, or top advisory council. President Obama’s own interagency review board found that at least some of the Uighurs are dangerous.

Notwithstanding the paramount threat posed by the Uighurs, defending them and other terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay has become the trendy thing to do among leftwing civil liberties groups and private practice lawyers looking for fashionable pro bono work.

As a matter of fact, Attorney General Eric Holder’s law firm, Covington and Burlington, represents 17 Yemenis and one Pakistani currently being held at Guantanamo. In all, about a dozen Obama Justice Department lawyers are from private law firms that represent terrorist detainees.

These are the same officials who, led by Holder, are charged with determining the future home of terrorist detainees after Guantanamo closes. As former Federal Prosecutor Andy McCarthy writes, “has it dawned on people yet that it's a huge problem to have a Justice Department stocked with lawyers who have spent (or whose firms have spent) the last eight years volunteering their services to America’s enemies?”

As you would expect, this army of leftwing activists and high-priced lawyers has led a public relations offense on behalf of the Uighurs to convince nervous suburbanites that the former terrorist detainees will make great neighbors. They claim that the Uighurs are harmless Chinese separatists who have been unjustly detained. Their real problem is with the repressive Chinese government, they claim, not us.

But as you can see, the truth about the Uighurs (which you definitely won’t hear from the anti-Guantanamo legal industry) is very different. Contrary to the claims of their defenders, the Guantanamo Uighurs are not pro-democracy activists unjustly held by American authorities.

Even if you accept the argument made by their defenders that the Uighurs’ true targets are Chinese, not Americans, it does nothing to change the fact that they are trained mass killers instructed by the same terrorists responsible for killing 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001.

They have no place in American communities.

So congratulations to President Obama for defying his radical leftwing base and refusing to release the prisoner abuse photos. Now he should do the same with the Uighurs.

Examiner columnist Newt Gingrich is the author, with Jackie Gingrich Cushman, of 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/special-editorial-reports/Lets-NOT-meet-the-Uighurs-45080387.html#comments

Uyghur News
17-05-09, 21:50
May 17, 2009, 3:24 pm
Lawmakers Question Shutdown of Guantánamo
By Brian Knowlton

Two leading Republican lawmakers on Sunday questioned whether President Obama will be able to meet his January deadline for closing the Guantánamo Bay detention center, and an influential Democrat expressed doubts of his own.

“The president made a mistake by picking a date certain,” Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, said on Fox News Sunday. “He’s changed his mind about a number of things. This is one, I think, that requires an adjustment in his position.”

Representative Peter King of New York, the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, also predicted a reversal by Mr. Obama, who last week shifted his positions on releasing prisoner-abuse photos (he now opposes this) and on using military tribunals for detainees (he supports this, but with greater protections for those tried).

“I think he’s going to keep it open at least until we find out where they can go,” Mr. King said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” He said that Mr. Obama “made a mistake by setting an arbitrary deadline.”

Underscoring the legal and political complexities surrounding the vexed issue – the pledge to close Guantanamo was among the president’s first — Senator Jim Webb, Democrat of Virginia, expressed his own doubts about the closure and about shifting detainees to the United States.

“We should close down Guantanamo at the right time,” said Mr. Webb, a member of the Armed Services Committee and former navy secretary. He said detainees should be appropriately processed, “but the facility is there at Guantanamo to do it — and then close it down.”

Whatever the symbolic arguments for closing Guantanamo, moving detainees to maximum security prisons in the United States, let alone freeing some of them, faces a huge barrier, raising “not in my backyard” sensitivities any place they might be sent.

“I don’t think there’s a community in America that’s going to be interested in taking them,” said Mr. McConnell.

Mr. Webb said that Virginia should not have to take 17 ethnic Uighurs, Chinese Muslims who underwent al-Qaida training in order to pursue separatist aims for their region of western China. The Bush administration ultimately conceded that they were not enemy combatants but said that they risked torture if sent to China; the current administration is said to be studying their release, perhaps to northern Virginia, which has a small Uighur community.

Mr. Webb’s military credentials had earned him mention as a possible Obama running mate last year. But he seemed to offer little comfort to Mr. Obama’s various positions.

Asked about the president’s nomination of the Republican governor of Utah, Jon Huntsman Jr., as ambassador to China, he seemed markedly less enthused than the Republican with whom he appeared, Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona.

“He’s a very capable guy, he speaks Mandarin Chinese, he had a post in Singapore” and is “knowledgeable about trade issues,” effused Mr. Kyl.

When Mr. Webb was asked on ABC’s “This Week” about the nomination of yet another Republican to a high position in the Democratic administration – even one who otherwise might have been a presidential rival to Mr. Obama in 2012 — he was noncommittal at best.

As chairman of the East Asia subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee, the Virginian said, “I’m happy to take a look at his qualifications.”

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/lawmakers-question-shutdown-of-gitmo/?hp

Spiegel Online
18-05-09, 12:17
05/18/2009 11:42 AM
FEARS OF ANGERING CHINA
German Foreign Minister Opposes Taking Uighur Guantanamo Inmates

The US wants Germany to take a group of nine Guantanamo inmates of Uighur origin. But now German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is getting cold feet -- he's worried that taking the Uighurs could cause a spat with China.

The fate of a group of Guantanamo inmates of Uighur origin is threatening to drive a wedge between the US and Germany. The US has asked Germany to take in nine ethnic Uighur detainees. But now German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, although he supports taking Guantanamo prisoners, is trying to keep the number of Uighurs as low as possible, SPIEGEL has learned.

At the end of April, senior US diplomat Daniel Fried, who is responsible for trying to resettle prisoners from the soon-to-be-closed Guantanamo Bay camp, gave the Germans a list of nine inmates that the US wants Germany to take. The prisoners belong to China's Uighur minority, a mainly Muslim group which has been the subject of brutal repression by the Chinese authorities.

However Steinmeier is concerned that taking the men would cause a diplomatic spat with China, which considers the men to be terrorists and has demanded their extradition. Steinmeier's staff has been following the American initiative with trepidation, particularly because Fried already served as a secretary of state during the Bush administration.

Last week, a senior official from the German Foreign Ministry, Reinhard Silberberg, told the US administration about Germany's reservations during a visit to Washington. Germany could only accept Uighur prisoners if other European countries also took some of them, he said -- that way, at least China's anger would not only be focused on Germany. Berlin only wants to accept some of the nine Uighurs and would like if possible to take prisoners of other nationalities in addition.

A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry refused to confirm the SPIEGEL report. "We are still at the very beginning of our discussions within the German government and with the US," he told the news agency Reuters Saturday.

Steinmeier has received support from former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who warned against accepting the Uighurs. "Such a decision would put a serious strain on German-Chinese relations," Schröder told SPIEGEL. It was indeed correct to support US President Barack Obama in his efforts to close Guantanamo, Schröder said. However "only the US itself can take in the Uighurs without causing serious diplomatic damage," he said. Steinmeier was Schröder's chief of staff from 1999 to 2005 and is also the Social Democratic Party's candidate for chancellor in September's national elections.

The US has asked Germany to take the Uighurs, considered by US officials to pose little risk, partly because Germany is home to one of the largest Uighur enclaves outside Asia. Around 500 Uighurs live in Munich.

dgs -- with wire reports

URL:

* http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,625453,00.html

Truth
18-05-09, 12:22
May 18, 2009
The Uighurs: 3

by hilzoy
I'm trying to track down the truth behind the various claims that are being made about the Uighur detainees at Guantanamo. (Previous posts: 1, 2.) One that keeps coming up is this:

"At Guantanamo Bay, the Uighurs are known for picking up television sets on which women with bared arms appear and hurling them across the room."

Jonah Goldberg:

"While watching a televised soccer game, the camera showed women with exposed arms, and the Uighurs went ballistic, picking up the TV and smashing it." [UPDATE: I originally had the Gingrich quote twice. I have no idea how that happened. Sorry. END UPDATE]

As far as I can tell, the source for this story is this paragraph from the LA Times:

"But the TV privileges underscored potential difficulties to come, according to one current and one former U.S. official. Not long after being granted access to TV, some of the Uighurs were watching a soccer game. When a woman with bare arms was shown on the screen, one of the group grabbed the television and threw it to the ground, according to the officials."

I was thinking about this while I was waiting for Obama's Notre Dame speech to start: about the way the story had metamorphosed from one incident into Gingrich's "known for picking up television sets" (apparently not just once, but often enough to acquire a reputation), and Jonah Goldberg's "going ballistic". Suddenly the phone rang; I ran to get it, and realized: if some official with an axe to grind had been in my house, s/he could easily have told the LA Times that I fled the room as soon as the President got up to speak. It would have been true. But it would have been awfully misleading.

So I decided to find out what actually happened. I wrote to the Uighurs' lawyer, Sabin Willett. I have corresponded with him occasionally in the past, he has always been completely trustworthy, and I was hoping that he would be able to tell me the story behind this episode. But guess what? He has no idea what those officials are talking about. From his email (quoted with permission):

"I have seen this reference. I have no idea where it comes from.

from my own observation, our clients are neither violent nor badly disposed to women. our translator is a woman, and some of the attorneys are women, and in our meetings the lawyers do not cover -- ie -- wear a headscarf. The men are extremely courteous toward women, actually.

the idea that the clients are religious extremists is silly. five of their companions have been living in Europe, peaceably, for three years now, in cultures that are primarily western."

If anyone reading this actually knows anything about this episode, please feel free to contact me. Until then, I'm left wondering how an allegation by unnamed officials in one article, concerning an episode that might never have happened, or that might be described very differently, ends up being cited by so many people as though it were gospel.

While I'm on this subject: Senator Webb should know better than to say this:

"The situation with the Chinese Uighurs that you're talking about, on the one hand, it can be argued that they were simply conducting dissident activities against the government of China. On the other, they accepted training from al Qaeda and as a result they have taken part in terrorism. I don't believe they should come to the United States."

This post has a description of the village the Uighurs stayed in, and the training they received. It involved learning to assemble and disassemble a rifle, and firing a few rounds from it. I did as much in summer camp, and I'm not all that dangerous. This post covers the organization they were either staying with or members of. It was not designated as a terrorist organization while they were there; it had no affiliation with al Qaeda; and when it was designated as a terrorist organization later, that designation was widely regarded as a concession the Bush administration made to China in return for China's acquiescence in the UN's Iraq war resolution.

The Uighurs did not "accept al Qaeda training", and Sen. Webb should not say that they did.

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The Truth
18-05-09, 16:51
May 18, 2009
By: Hilzoy

The Uighurs: 4

I'm continuing to try to track down the truth behind the various claims made about the Uighurs. (Previous posts: 1, 2, 3.) This time, I want to consider this one:

"President Obama's own interagency review board found that at least some of the Uighurs are dangerous."

The original (and, to my knowledge, only) source for this claim is this Human Events article:

"White House lawyers are refusing to accept the findings of an inter-agency committee that the Uighur Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo Bay are too dangerous to release inside the U.S., according to Pentagon sources familiar with the action."

Human Events is not what I normally think of as a credible source. They publish Ann Coulter pieces like "The [sic] Shot The Wrong Lincoln" (Abraham, not Chafee, apparently.) Jed Babbin, in particular, has compared Barack Obama to Madame DeFarge, and opened an interview with Rush Limbaugh by saying: "I'm just so excited talking to you Rush ... I'm jumping out of my skin."

That said, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and Jed Babbin might, for all I knew, be right on this one. So I decided to ask around. Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch was kind enough to reply. Here's his email (quoted with permission):

"There is no evidence that the panel has found them too dangerous to release; on the contrary, the administration has asked Germany and other European countries to resettle the Uighurs on their soil. And it understands that to persuade other countries to take the Uighurs, it may have to release some in the US to show there is nothing to fear. That doesn't mean the panel concluded that the Uighurs are all goatherds either -- just that they were not involved in terrorism or linked to Al Qaeda or the Taliban and pose no threat to the US or its allies. If there is any real source for the Human Events story, my guess is that it's a Bush hold over at DOD or Justice who wants us to believe that the Bush positions are somehow being vindicated."

If you would like to read a judge's assessment of the evidence against one of the Uighurs, it's here (pdf; start on p. 15.) This is the unclassified version of the decision; however, the judge in question saw the classified information that the Bush administration introduced to support its claim that this detainee was an enemy combatant, so I assume that had that information contained a convincing case, that fact would have been reflected in the opinion. It was not.

—Hilzoy 3:47

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_05/018237.php

Huffington Post
19-05-09, 14:49
Ryan Grim

Uighurs Fire Back At Gingrich From Gitmo: "Why Does He Hate Us So Much?"

First Posted: 05-19-09 01:40 PM | Updated: 05-19-09 01:46 PM

Chinese Muslims known as Uighurs, detained for more than six years and counting at the American prison at Guantanamo Bay, are firing back at Newt Gingrich, who has accused them of terrorist ties and says that releasing them into the United States would endanger the country.

The seventeen Uighurs sent their message to the Huffington Post through their translator, Rushan Abbas, who has been working with them in Guantanamo since 2002, initially contracted by the Department of Defense.

The Bush administration has cleared the Uighurs for release; five have already been released to third countries. If returned to China, there is a high probability they'd be tortured. A vibrant Uighur community in Northern Virginia has offered to take them in, but Gingrich and others are objecting.

"Why is that our problem?" Gingrich wondered in a recent TV interview. "Why are we protecting these guys? Why does it become an American problem?"

Gingrich pushed further in an op-ed, claiming that '[b]y their own admission, Uighurs being held at Guantanamo Bay are members of or associated with the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), an al Qaeda-affiliated group designated as a terrorist organization under U.S law."

No, they have never admitted that, says Abbas, adding that the Uighurs call the claim "baseless, factless slander against them." Abbas returned from Guantanamo Monday. She now works with the Uighurs' defense attorneys.

The Uighurs call relatives in the United States and Europe often, she says, so stay up on the news. They were surprised to hear the accusation from the former Speaker of the House.

"Why does he hate us so much and say those kinds of things? He doesn't know us. He should talk to our attorneys if he's curious about our background," Abbas relates. "How could he speak in such major media with nothing based in fact? They were very disappointed how Newt Gingrich was linking them to ETIM which they never even heard of the name ETIM until they came to Guantanamo Bay."

The Uighurs are apparently under the misconception that American columnists are fact-checked for accuracy. "They just cannot understand," she says. "How come the media doesn't even verify the story? How could they just publish something like that without checking whether what he says is true or not?"

The Uighurs, before the outburst by Gingrich, were unfamiliar with the former speaker. "Whoever told them this news explained to them he was Speaker of the House and a very high profile person during the Clinton administration," says Abbas.

"Such a high profile person speaking such lies about us," she says they fretted. "They are concerned about their safety where ever they go."

A Gingrich spokesman did not return an e-mail requesting comment. The Uighurs were picked up by bounty hunters in Afghanistan who sold them to the U.S. military.

"China suppresses all the Uighur peaceful movement and labels all the movement terrorist," says Rebiya Kadeer, author of Dragon Fighter: One Woman's Epic Struggle for Peace with China and hailed by President Bush as a human rights champion.

"I hope that some of them will be released to the United States," says Kadeer, who now lives in Northern Virginia, through a separate translator.

Gingrich has been joined by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) in objecting to the Uighurs' relocation to the United States. Those objections are weighing on the administration.

Wolf spokesman Dan Scandling noted that Wolf is a champion of the Uighur cause and fought for the release of Kadeer from a Chinese prison. But he isn't convinced of their innocence. "We have had several conversations with people in the intelligence community who have told us otherwise," said Scandling. Wolf represents Langley, Va., where the CIA is headquartered.

Wolf "has not said they should not be released, just that they should not be released into the United States," said Scandling.

Wolf, in objecting to the Uighurs, said that they are fundamentalist Muslims and once smashed a TV because a woman on the screen was baring her arms.

Abbas, however, says that the detainee who went off on the TV has already been released to Albania and that it had nothing to do with any bare arms. Rather, he had repeatedly requested to speak to camp supervisors and had been ignored, so he chose to cause a scene. Scandling said Wolf's account of the TV smashing came from a story in the L.A. Times.

The coming of the Obama administration brought the Uighurs hope. They were "extremely happy" about his election and had "huge faith in President Obama," Abbas says,

They began counting the days after inauguration. They still have hope, she says, but its wearing thin. "Here we are approaching June now. When is this going to happen?" she says they wonder.

Obama has pledged to close the prison by January 2010. The Uighurs don't see how that's possible.

"If we are the innocent ones from day one -- and for the past six years, and the government knew we were innocent -- if we are still here, how he is going to deal with the 240 prisoners and shut down the base by next January?" Abbas says they ask. "They're a little bit skeptical about it actually happening."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/19/uighurs-fire-back-at-ging_n_205261.html

Uyghur News
19-05-09, 16:05
The seventeen Uighurs sent their message to the Huffington Post through their translator, Rushan Abbas, who has been working with them in Guantanamo since 2002, initially contracted by the Department of Defense.


Thanks Rushan!

NY Daily News
20-05-09, 12:39
Free the Gitmo 60

By Sabin Willett
Special to NYDailyNews.com

Wednesday, May 20th 2009, 9:17 AM

This month my Uighur clients began their eighth year in the Guantanamo Bay prison. Long ago they were cleared by both the military and our courts. They are neither our enemies, nor terrorists, nor criminals. But when press accounts surfaced that they might at long last be released, hysteria came over the Congress, and last week the House passed a bill that would bar their release here.

That would amount to a life sentence. They are dissident refugees from Communist China, and cannot be returned because of real fears of torture. In almost five years of trying, no other country will take them.

These men won their cases in court, and they were cleared by the military as nondangerous. That didn't matter. On news that they might at last be released, the most astonishing stories began to circulate about the men. That the men were Al Qaeda, for example. (They had never heard of Al Qaeda, and no one even alleged that before.) That they were part of something called the "East Turkestan Islamic Movement," a libel the courts rejected more than a year ago. That they were nevertheless dangerous, even though under President George Bush, the Justice Department told a federal judge that they had no evidence of dangerousness, and the military in 2004-05 approved the Uighurs for release to the civilian populations of our allies. That they advocated "Jihadism," "Sharia law," and so on, which was pure fiction, never before alleged, not true, just, as the President once said, "making stuff up."

This week Newt Gingrich weighed in, saying these men had "smashed a television" because it depicted "women with bare arms." Another lie. Just a flat-out falsehood, based on air. It never happened.

The truth is that five Uighur companions from Afghanistan have lived peacefully among civilian populations in the capitals of Albania and Sweden for three years now. But facts don't seem to matter when demagogues are whipping up hysteria.

In a larger sense, the Uighurs are beside the point. What this is really about is whether we Americans are serious when we boast that we care about freedom, or whether we are a small, narrow-chested people, easily panicked by demagogues like Gingrich.

There are about 60 men at Gitmo, like the Uighurs, who are neither enemies nor criminals in anyone's estimation. No law justifies their imprisonment. They have been held in a military prison for longer than any real enemy of the country was ever held before. So what are we going to do about them?

One answer is, free them. Because in this country we just don't capture and imprison people without a legal reason. If that is what we Americans believe, then we have to free 60 or so stateless people. We cannot expect that some other country is going to provide all the asylum grants. That is just not adult behavior. (Although reasonable adults would also conclude that if we would take some, allies would help with others. That's also how adult behavior works.)

The other answer is, the hell with them. They stay there forever. And I really do mean forever. The U.S. has pitched the Uighurs to allies for five years now, and China's influence is not exactly shrinking. We don't seriously think that a hysterical smear campaign about jihadism, Sharia law, and ETIM is going to persuade some other country that they are just peachy for its civilian populations, do we? "The hell with them," is what the House bill says.

If that's our view, we need to be honest with ourselves about our American values. We are fine with holding people in a prison forever, without any legal basis. That's who the 111th Congress thinks we are.

We talk a lot in this country about freedom. But talk is cheap. If we follow the House's actions, then we may care about security, but we don't give a damn about freedom.

Willett is a partner at Bingham McCutchen, which represents six Uighur prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.


Read more: "Free the Gitmo 60" - http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2009/05/20/2009-05-20_free_the_gitmo_60.html#ixzz0G47Kbr1N&A

Yahoo News
20-05-09, 16:01
http://www.uyghuramerican.org/forum/showthread.php?t=13969

AFP News
21-05-09, 14:30
Lawmakers demand Guantanamo Uighurs move to US

41 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Two lawmakers of President Barack Obama's Democratic Party appealed Thursday to let Uighurs locked up at Guantanamo Bay move to the United States, saying they were victims of injustice.

The plea came despite an overwhelming Senate vote a day earlier to block money to transfer inmates out of the deeply controversial "war on terror" prison in Cuba, which Obama on Thursday vowed again to shut down.

US authorities four years ago cleared 17 imprisoned Uighurs -- members of a largely Muslim group in northwestern China who the State Department says face worsening persecution by Beijing.

But they are stuck at Guantanamo Bay due to fears that Beijing would torture them if they return. The United States has asked Germany, home to a large Uighur community, to take them in.

"We cannot expect the world to miraculously resolve this problem of our own making," Congressman Jim McGovern said.

"It is not enough, quite frankly, to ask that they be placed in Germany or in some other European country. I believe that we have an obligation to resettle at least some of the Uighurs here in the United States."

He and other lawmakers were addressing a world assembly of Uighurs, including dissident leader Rebiya Kadeer, who were meeting at the US Capitol in a bid to showcase their international support.

"Despite all of our words and our resolutions, we have let you down and we have put America's judicial system and our moral standing in the world at risk," said Bill Delahunt, like McGovern a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts.

"The Uighur people are not enemies of America. In fact, I know you admire our fundamental ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," he said.

But the Senate on Wednesday cut off money to transfer the Guantanamo detainees, with Democrats joining Republicans in fearing public reaction to moving them into communities.

Nury Turkel, an attorney working on the detainees' legal team, denounced the Senate vote.

"What it did was effectively to try to build an American gulag in Guantanamo even though the Uighur men have already been cleared," he said. "President Obama needs to show leadership to free them."

Copyright © 2009 AFP.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jmjMNYv3RKdtOFFRron1etaMlAWQ

boway
21-05-09, 16:58
Yéqindin béri, burun Bush hökümiti terepidin gunasiz (non enemy combatants) dep élan qilinghan Guantanamodiki 17 Uyghurlarni tosattinla "térorchilar" dep atash Amérikining herqaysi axbarat wastilirida, internette, bolupmu respoblikichilar (republicans) terepidin hedep ewjige chiqmaqta. Bügün Amérika parlaméntida ötküzülgen pikir élish yighinidimu, Attorney General Eric Holder bu jehette Obama hökümitining meydanini ézip chüshendürüshke mejbur bolghan. Töwendiki xewerde eytilishiche, burun Uyghurlarning kishilik hoquqining aktip qollighuchisi bolghan Rep. Frank Wolf (Viriginia shitatiliq rispoblikichi) mu chapanni tetür kéyip, Guantanamo Uyghurlirini Amérikigha qoyup bérish, "Amérika xelqining bixeterlikige biwaste tehdit élip kélidu" dep bildürgen.

Mening ich-ichimdin tit-tit boluwatqinim, mushundaq bir weziyette Uyghur Amérika Uyushmisidin héch bir ipade bolmaywatidu (Belkim UAA bu heqte heriket elip bériwatqan bolsimu, buni anglimighan bolushimiz mumkin). Qandaqla bolmisun, bu heqte PR (public relations) we bashqa pa'aliyet élip bérilsa yaxshi bolatti. Déyilip ötkendek, bu Uyghurlar alla burun gunahsiz (Amérikining düshmini emes) dep bir qarar qilinip bolghan. Mushundaq ahwalda ular terepte tursaq özimizning "térorchilarni yaqlighuchi" atlip qélishimizdin ensirimisekmu bolidu ...

http://www.kansascity.com/444/story/1184555.html

Posted on Thu, May. 07, 2009
GOP ratchets up debate over closing Guantanamo
By LESLEY CLARK
McClatchy Newspapers

Republicans on Thursday amped up opposition to President Barack Obama's plan to close the prison camps at Guantanamo Bay, even as Attorney General Eric Holder sought to reassure senators that the United States won't release anyone it considers a terrorist.

Holder's remarks came during a Senate budget hearing in which Democratic and Republican senators sought reassurance about the administration's plans to relocate the 241 inmates now confined to the detention camp in Cuba.

Across the Capitol, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives introduced what they called the "Keep Terrorists out of America Act," legislation aimed at thwarting the administration's efforts to close the controversial camp. It would require a state governor or legislature first to approve any transfer or release of a detainee into that state.

"The world suddenly did not become safer on Jan. 20, 2009," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. "Our constituents don't want these terrorists in their neighborhoods."

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky carried the message to the Senate floor, saying that Republican concerns "are rooted in the fact that Americans like the fact that we haven't been attacked at home since 9-11, and they don't want the terrorists at Guantanamo back on the battlefield or in their backyards."

Of the 779 people who have been imprisoned at Guantanamo, 538 already have been released or transferred to other countries for detention or trial, the vast majority of them by the Bush administration.

Holder told the Senate that the administration has three task forces looking at how to handle the detainees. He didn't rule out detainees being brought to U.S. soil, but he promised Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., that the agency would consult with state and local officials if it decided to use any U.S. facilities. Mikulski supports Obama's plan to empty the Guantanamo prison camps.

"Paramount in our concern is the safety of the American people," Holder told Mikulski. "We are not going to put at risk the safety of the people of this country."

Obama has said closing the camps within a year will improve U.S. standing around the world.

Republicans circulated news releases Thursday with pictures of 10 of the best-known Guantanamo detainees and accused the president of seeking to fulfill a campaign pledge without first developing a plan for "hundreds of the world's most dangerous terrorists."

"We are trying to solve an image problem at the expense of human lives," said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.

At the White House, press secretary Robert Gibbs said he hadn't yet seen the House bill. In addition to requiring approval from state governments, the bill would require "strict criteria and certification standards" before a detainee could be brought to the United States.

Holder told Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., that the United States wouldn't release anyone it considers a terrorist, but he added, "Some (detainees) are going to be released. Some are going to be tried. Some will be detained on a fairly extended basis.

"And so those who will be released are those who we think can be released and be released on a safe basis."

At issue, in part, is the definition of a terrorist. The Obama administration has said it's willing to bring to the United States some of 17 Uighur Muslims at Guantanamo whose release a federal judge ordered last year. The Uighurs are Chinese citizens who fear persecution if they're returned to their homeland.

The Bush administration's Justice Department concluded last year that the Uighurs were no longer "enemy combatants" and were eligible for release, but some Republican leaders have continued to cast them as terrorists.

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., long an advocate of Uighur rights, wrote to Obama this week expressing his "grave concern" that the Uighurs' release onto U.S. soil "could directly threaten the security of the American people."

(Staff writer Carol Rosenberg contributed to this report from Miami.)

Sez nime ishlarni kilewatisez?

Al-Jazeera
21-05-09, 23:02
Unable to find countries willing to take them in and unwilling to send them back to China where they may face persecution, the US government continues to keep 17 Uighur detainees at the Guantanamo prison fours years after they were cleared for release.

Calls are growing for the men to be resettled in the US.

Al Jazeera's Monica Villamizar visits a Uighur family just outside of Washington which is willing to play host.

jgehhKvvor0

AFP News
22-05-09, 00:34
Lawmakers demand Guantanamo Uighurs move to US

By Shaun Tandon – 1 hour ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Two lawmakers with President Barack Obama's Democratic Party appealed to let Uighurs locked up at Guantanamo Bay move to the United States, saying they were victims of injustice.

The plea came despite an overwhelming Senate vote a day earlier to block money to transfer inmates out of the deeply controversial "war on terror" prison in Cuba, which Obama on Thursday vowed again to shut down.

US authorities four years ago cleared 17 imprisoned Uighurs -- members of a largely Muslim group in northwestern China who the State Department says face worsening persecution by Beijing.

But they are stuck at Guantanamo Bay due to fears that Beijing would torture them if they return. The United States has asked Germany, home to a large Uighur community, to take them in.

"We cannot expect the world to miraculously resolve this problem of our own making," Congressman Jim McGovern said.

"It is not enough, quite frankly, to ask that they be placed in Germany or in some other European country. I believe that we have an obligation to resettle at least some of the Uighurs here in the United States."

He and other lawmakers were addressing a world assembly of Uighurs, including dissident leader Rebiya Kadeer, who were meeting at the US Capitol in a bid to showcase their international support.

"Despite all of our words and our resolutions, we have let you down and we have put America's judicial system and our moral standing in the world at risk," said Bill Delahunt, like McGovern a Democratic congressman from Massachusetts.

"The Uighur people are not enemies of America. In fact, I know you admire our fundamental ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," he said.

But the Senate on Wednesday cut off money to transfer the Guantanamo detainees, with Democrats joining Republicans in fearing public reaction to moving them into communities.

Nury Turkel, an attorney working on the detainees' legal team, denounced the Senate vote.

"What it did was effectively to try to build an American gulag in Guantanamo even though the Uighur men have already been cleared," he said. "President Obama needs to show leadership to free them."

More than 100 Uighur leaders are taking part in the talks in Washington, a venue chosen both for its large Uighur community and to symbolize hopes of drawing the sort of global attention given the Tibetan movement.

"The Chinese government is doing all that it can to prevent the Uighur issue from being internationalized and has intensified its repression," Kadeer said.

"I am calling for the support of the free world -- especially the United States, Western Europe and human rights groups. I believe our peaceful struggle shall succeed and we will find a way to peacefully achieve our freedom and human rights," she said.

Kadeer was released to the United States under international pressure in 2005 after spending some six years in prison following an attempt to meet US congressional researchers.

China accuses her of separatism and supporting "terrorism" in Xinjiang, charges Kadeer rejects.

Some Republican lawmakers accused President Barack Obama of turning a blind eye to abuses by China as he seeks broader cooperation on other issues, particularly the economy.

"The Chinese government's human rights record is worsening, while the concern of other governments is diminishing," Chris Smith, a Republican congressman from New Jersey, told the Uighurs.

"Despite this, I want to assure you that you have many friends in Congress and insist to you that you have plenty of reason to believe that you will prevail," Smith said.

Copyright © 2009 AFP.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j4py081yJi-8b1pkflxvButNyYAQ

Unregistered
22-05-09, 16:02
Republicans Seize on Uighurs for Anti-Gitmo Closure Campaign
Plan to Settle Chinese Muslims Fuels 'Terrorist in Your Neighborhood' Attacks
By David Weigel 5/22/09 12:45 PM
Detainees at Guantanamo Bay (Department of Defense photo)

Detainees at Guantanamo Bay (Department of Defense photo)

On Tuesday, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) got a meeting that he had been asking for since March — a briefing with the Department of Justice about plans to resettle 17 Uighurs, Chinese Muslims who have been detained at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay since 2002. Ever since the Obama administration had floated the idea of moving the detainees into a hospitable Uighur community in Wolf’s northern Virginia district, the congressman had been asking for more details. “I have grave concerns,” he wrote Attorney General Eric Holder in a May 13 letter, “that you are playing fast and loose with the definition of ‘terrorist’ and may be misleading the American people regarding … plans to release the [Uighur] detainees into the U.S.”
Image by: Matt Mahurin

Image by: Matt Mahurin

In response to this, Wolf’s third official request, the Department of Justice sent Ron Weich, its head of legislative affairs, down to talk with Wolf. When he arrived to speak with the FBI, Wolf, and his staff, it quickly became clear that the congressman still wasn’t going to get the specific details about the Uighurs that he wanted. The session ended early. Asked about Wolf’s request and this meeting, Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said the department had “provided briefings to Rep. Wolf and other members of Congress, as well their staffs, on the detainee review process” and that it would “continue to do so.”

“If that’s what they call a briefing,” said Daniel Scandling, Wolf’s chief of staff, “someone from their office of legislative affairs, then that’s a pretty sad comment on what their idea of a ‘briefing’ is.”

Wolf and his staff are not alone in their frustration. Five months after the president announced that the Guantanamo Bay prison would be closed, Democrats and human rights activists are grumbling that PR stumbles and a lack of transparency have complicated that long-term goal. They worry that the case of the Uighurs has become hopelessly lost in a fog of controversy over the fate of all of the facility’s detainees. While the president spent some of his May 21 speech bracketing the Uighur situation from other Guantanamo issues, Republicans have succeeded in conflating the fate of these 17 detainees with that of the other 223 prisoners. The fact that the Uighurs’ detentions were found to be illegal in 2008 and they were ordered to be released, has been lost as Republicans and opponents of the prison’s closure have stoked fears of terrorists being settled in American towns, receiving welfare, and given time to plot more attacks.

The slow roll-out of a solution to the Uighur impasse and frayed communications between the administration and Congress created a window in which Republicans were able to inflame these worries. Wolf, whose district also contains the headquarters of the CIA (”these agents are his neighbors,” said Scandling), sent his first letter about the Uighur issue to the Department of Justice on March 13, and his second letter on April 23. Not until May did the issue become “demogogued,” as one Democratic aide in the House put it, by other Republicans.

“Some of these terrorist-trained detainees could be coming to American communities,” said Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) in a May 5 speech on the Senate floor. Bond pledged to oppose the arrival of Gitmo detainees on American soil “whether these terrorists are coming to the prison in nearby Kansas or a halfway house in a city in Missouri or any other state,” a line he used again in the GOP’s May 9 national radio address.

On May 7, the Uighur issue got an additional working from two Republican bills. The first, the Keep Terrorists out of America Act, was introduced by House Republican leaders to publicize the possibility of Gitmo prisoner releases. The second, the No Welfare for Terrorists Act, was introduced by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kans.), who is also running for the seat of retiring Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kans.). The bill was written to prohibit any alien national who had been detained at Gitmo from “receiving any federal, state, or local public benefits,” something that would prohibit the resettlement of Uighurs — and something that had not been proposed for any other detainees who do not share the Uighurs’ legal status.

“These are not repentant sinners,” said Tiahrt. “They have not taken a vow of peacefulness. If they were repentant and wanted to educate people in the dangers of terrorism, that would be one thing. But why should taxpayers support the efforts of one of these terrorists to get a foothold in place he’s not happy with? For us to house and feed him, that wouldn’t make sense.” Other Uighurs who have been released outside of China, such as the five who were relocated to Albania in 2007, have not lived up to their fearsome reputations, but that hasn’t helped in the cases of the remaining Gitmo Uighurs.

Tiahrt’s bill hasn’t achieved much momentum in the House, but one of its goals — publicizing the possible resettlement of Gitmo detainees — has succeeded beyond the wildest expectations of Democrats, culminating in 90-6 Senate vote against funding the closure of the prison. Austin Durrer, a spokesman for Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), characterized Tiahrt’s bill as something “that would undermine the administration,” and “not something the congressman takes seriously.” But Moran, who has ventured out on a limb by defending the possible resettlement of Uighurs, has watched the administration, slowly and agonizingly, fumble the ball.

“One of the congressman’s concerns is that the Department of Justice has not been more hands-on,” said Durrer. “That’s why the president was rebuked in the Senate.”

That rebuke came, in part, because the Uighur situation produced a talking point — terrorists moving next door to Americans — that was easily folded into the Republican playbook. On May 10, former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich appeared on Fox News to argue that “the idea we’re going to put alleged terrorists on welfare and have you pay for them and me pay for them so they get to be integrated into American society” was “insane,” because “all these people were brought in on the grounds that they were trained in terrorist camps.” Five days later Gingrich published a column about the Uighurs that repeated the most most threatening rumors about them, and other Republican attacks blurred the lines further. A May 18 paper from the Senate Republican Policy Committee asked whether Americans wanted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to become their “new neighbor,” despite the paper’s admission that only the Uighurs — who would face torture if they were returned to China — were being considered for residence in the United States.

“The entire Gitmo issue is an example of President Obama letting his rhetoric get ahead of his actual policy,” said Republican strategist Alex Conant, a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee. “The administration has not decided what to do with the detainees, including the Uighurs, and they’re telling people what the end result is going to be.”

The administration cannot count on winning over opponents like Tiahrt. “The issue isn’t whether they’re pro-America or anti-America,” he said. “The issue is that they’re radical Muslims.” But the botched handling of the situation has frustrated human rights activists, who have argued for years that the Uighurs present no national security threat, and that their very presence in Gitmo has never made sense. “The U.S. has to resettle a few of the Uighurs in order to close Gitmo, period,” said Stacy Sullivan, a counterterrorism advisor at Human Rights Watch. “The Department of Justice and the Guantanamo Review Task Force need to provide background info on Uighurs to Frank Wolf and to everyone else concerned with Uighurs coming to the United States. As long as don’t do that they fuel suspicion and allegations that President Obama is trying to release terrorists into the United States.”

Frank Wolf is ready for the administration to fix that. “If he sees information that proves that the Uighurs are not actually terrorists, he may take another look at this,” said Scandling. “But we’ve seen nothing that proves that. This is an administration that ran on transparency and all it has provided here is stonewall after stonewall.”

http://washingtonindependent.com/44130/republicans-seize-on-uighurs-for-anti-gitmo-closure-campaign

Christian Science M
22-05-09, 20:32
From Albania, freed Guantánamo prisoner watches detainee debate unfold
As Congress worries about the dangerous prisoners, a Chinese Uighur asks: Why not release those deemed innocent?

By Besar Likmeta | Contributor

from the May 22, 2009 edition

Tirana, Albania - While President Barack Obama made his case Thursday for the transfer of Guantánamo Bay detainees, one of the terror camp's former prisoners was studying recipes in a restaurant kitchen here, doing his best to learn the chef skills that will support his new life in this new land.

Abu Bakker Qassim is one of five Chinese Uighurs released to Albania in 2005, after US authorities feared that repatriating them to China would expose them to persecution and human rights violations.

Seventeen of Mr. Qassim's Uighur compatriots remain in Guantánamo, even though they have been found innocent of wrongdoing and have been cleared for release.

Although an increasingly heated debate in the US focuses on how to handle dozens of remaining suspected terrorists held at Guantánamo, the Obama administration faces an equally sticky dilemma over releasing the innocent Uighurs.

The president has gotten resistance from Congress, with some arguing that the Uighurs – guilty or not – could pose a security threat. Other countries are skittish of taking the men, worried of angering China, which wants them returned for trial.

A detour in his path

When Qassim left his home in China's Xingjian Province in 2000, his dream was to reach Turkey, or, preferably, Western Europe.

After setting up a shop in Kyrgyzstan for a year with little success, he joined a larger group of 17 would-be migrants as they set off through the neighboring Central Asian republics.

In 2001, just days before the start of a US bombing campaign aimed at overthrowing the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the Uighurs arrived in the Afghan city of Jalalabad.

Four days after their arrival, Jalalabad was bombed. The Uighurs left to seek sanctuary in neighboring Pakistan. They could not know that, after an arduous march through the mountains of Tora Bora, the villagers who would greet them warmly on the other side of the border had, only a few days earlier, been blanketed by fliers from US aircraft, promising that whoever "hunts an Arab becomes a rich man."

Though they had no knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks, the men were handed over to the Pakistan authorities for the promised reward of $5,000. They would spend the next four months in jail in Kandahar, Afghanistan, before being sent to Guantánamo Bay.

"In Kandahar, the Americans realized we had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, but they still shipped us to Guantánamo," Qassim contends. "At that point, we understood that we were flying into hell."

Qassim spent the next five years behind steel bars.

From Cuba to Albania

Qassim and four other Uighurs were not released until May 5, 2006, after a US federal court ruled that their detention was illegal. The release came only hours before an appeals court was expected to order that they be freed.

The Bush administration worked intensely to find a host country for the five men in order to prevent the appeals court from freeing them on American soil. After more than 100 countries refused, the US found a host in Albania, its small ally in the Balkans, says Sabin Willet, a Boston lawyer who defended the Uighurs.

Qassim and the four other Uighurs were flown to Tirana on a Friday. The federal appeals court "was scheduled to hear their case on the following Monday," Mr. Willet says. "They were absolutely sent to Tirana to avoid that hearing."

Not safe to go home

Of the 241 inmates still in Guantánamo, the US says that roughly 60 – including the 17 remaining Uighurs, as well as detainees from Libya, Uzbekistan, and Algeria – cannot be returned to their home country because they risk persecution at the hands of local authorities.

"The remaining Uighurs would pose a threat to no one, and Abu Baker is an example," Willet says, referring to Qassim. "He has lived peacefully in Tirana for more than three years, while the other Uighur men in Gitmo have essentially the same background as Abu Bakker and are as peaceful as he."

Human rights campaigners say that when the US has returned former detainees to countries with poor human rights records, they have faced threats, torture, and persecution.

"If I was sent to China I would most likely end up in jail or executed," Qassim says.

Still trapped

Although overwhelmingly Muslim, Albanian society is strongly secular, and conservative Islam is often frowned upon. When Qassim and the other Uighurs arrived, they wore long beards, prompting concern from locals.

"At the beginning, people looked on us as terrorists, but I think the Albanians have come to understand that we were no such thing," Qassim says. "They were suspicious of our long beards, but now the beards have gone and so have their doubts."

One of the Uighurs relocated to Albania has since been granted political asylum in Sweden [read recent Monitor coverage of his story here] but the other four, including Qassim, are doing their best to move forward with life in Albania.

They have worked as volunteers for a local nongovernmental organization, planted trees in the city, and taken cooking lessons at local restaurants. One of the men received a scholarship to study computer science at American University in Tirana.

Qassim hopes to open his own restaurant soon. Although he is settling into calmer times, he says that being separated from his family for a decade has not been easy.

"My wife was pregnant with twins when I left 10 years ago," he says. "I speak to them on the phone, but hardly have any hope left of being reunited."

Qassim has been working to push for the release of the Uighurs still imprisoned in Cuba. He has written President Obama to urge him to release the men. He says he has faith that they will be freed soon.

Their release will be "good news for us, but also for the American people," he says, "because it will lift the doubts that Guantánamo has created about American democracy."

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0523/p06s01-woeu.html#

Newsweek
23-05-09, 15:45
Next Stop Nowhere
Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball

NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Jun 1, 2009

As part of their efforts to shut down the Guantánamo Bay detention center, Obama Administration officials were poised in late April to make a bold, stealthy move: they instructed the U.S. Marshals Service to prepare an aircraft and a Special Ops group to fly two Chinese Uighurs, and up to five more on subsequent flights, from Gitmo to northern Virginia for resettlement. In a conference call overseen by the National Security Council, Justice and Pentagon officials had been warned that any public statements about Gitmo transfers would inflame congressional Republicans, according to a law-enforcement official who asked not to be named discussing internal deliberations. Then on May 1, -Virginia GOP Rep. Frank Wolf got tipped off. Furious, he fired off a public letter to President Obama, charging that the release of the Uighurs—Muslim separatists opposed to the Chinese government—could "directly threaten the security of the American people." White House officials were not happy. One called Wolf's chief of staff and accused his boss of playing politics. "Now we know how you're going to play this," Jim Papa, chief Obama liaison to the House, said during the conversation, according to Wolf staffer Dan Scandling. (Papa did not comment; a White House official said there were multiple briefings for Wolf's office.) The flight never took off.

The blowup illustrates the challenge Obama faces to meet his goal of shuttering Gitmo—a problem that grew last week when the Senate voted 90-6 to strip money for the closure from a funding bill. "This may be harder than health care," said one senior official, who also requested anonymity. A federal court has ordered the release of Gitmo's 17 remaining Uighurs. But they can't be returned to China because they would likely be tortured or executed. Sending them to northern Virginia seemed to make sense: a -Uighur community is located there, and Wolf has been a critic of China's human-rights record and has championed the Uighur cause. But Wolf told NEWSWEEK he fears the detainees might attack Chinese diplomats in D.C. "Let them go to some other country," he said.

So far, there are no takers. Since Albania accepted five in 2006, the Pentagon has been rebuffed repeatedly by other countries. Last week the State Department asked Germany to resettle nine Uighurs. But its government is expected to stall until after a September election, if not longer, according to a European diplomat who asked not to be identified. The Germans, the official said, "want the U.S. to take Gitmo detainees first." That could be a long time coming.

URL: http://www.newsweek.com/id/199158

Concerned Uyghur
26-05-09, 16:31
May 26, 2009
Exclusive: GITMO Uyghurs Are Jihadis

Clare M. Lopez

With all the recent attention focused on where and how to release Guantanamo Bay detainees, the case of 17 imprisoned Uyghurs has grabbed headlines again. Massachusetts Democratic Congressmen Jim McGovern and Bill Delahunt think that at least some of these Uyghurs should be resettled right here in the United States (U.S.), maybe even in the Virginia suburbs. Speaking in late May 2009 at a world assembly of Uyghurs at the U.S. Capitol, Delahunt offered some reassuring words: “The Uyghur people are not enemies of America. In fact, I know you admire our fundamental ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness….” How quaint. And how dangerously wrong.

The Uyghurs held at GITMO were captured while fleeing a terror training camp in eastern Afghanistan that was run by the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), a splinter faction of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM). ETIM is listed as a terrorist organization by the governments of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and the U.S., as well as the United Nations. The TIP may also be another name for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), an Islamic terrorist group opposed to the secular regime of Uzbekistan President Islom Karimov and dedicated to the establishment of Islamic rule there and across Central Asia. Heavily suppressed in Uzbekistan, the IMU may have been eradicated inside that country, but its fighters have surfaced in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and elsewhere. Many of them joined the Taliban in Afghanistan pre-2001 and remain a presence in terrorist training camps along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

These groups – TIP, ETIM, and the IMU – include Uyghur Muslims from western regions of China, especially the province of XinJiang, who are sworn to wage Jihad against the Chinese government and have carried out scattered bombing and shooting attacks. There are about 8 million Uyghurs, a Turkic people whose culture, ethnicity, and language are similar to those of neighbors in the Central Asian republics. Not all Uyghurs support the violent agenda of the Jihadis. But for those who do, their objective is to separate from China and form their own independent Islamic state called East Turkestan, which would be ruled by Shari’a law. Prior to the summer 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, TIP Commander Seyfullah released a video entitled “Our Blessed Jihad in Yunnan” in which he issued orders for “severely attacking all central cities in inner China, ask our merciful Allah to allow these brothers and sisters to deal a fatal blow in this Jihad against Chinese and we ask our merciful Allah to completely stop Olympic Games….Bomb Chinese government buildings, venues, tourist spots and similar places….You’re even permitted to use biological weapons this time.”

Repressive as the PRC communist regime undeniably is, in this case, Beijing faces the same enemy as all of Dar al-Harb, including Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Western Europe, and the U.S. That enemy is Islamic Jihad. The Uyghur fighters at GITMO and their comrades from the terror training camps of Afghanistan and Pakistan are Jihadis – this means they share a common purpose to use military means to impose the harsh strictures of Shari’a wherever they can. New footage of a terrorist training camp in Pakistan run by the Uyghur group, TIP, was released in April 2009. In this video, called “Persistence and Preparation for Jihad in the Cause of Allah”, are clips of “mujahedeen brothers” blowing up U.S. military Humvees. According to a SITE Intelligence Group translation, the narrator says Uyghur Jihadis “will cause China to experience what America experienced in Iraq and in Afghanistan.” The video may be viewed on the NEFA Foundation website.

In March 2009, the TIP published a journal called the Turkistan al-Muslimah (Muslim Turkistan) on a Jihadi web forum (muslm.net). Earlier issues were published by Jihadi websites affiliated with al-Qa’eda. In addition to complaints about Chinese government discrimination against the Turkic Uyghur Muslims of China, the journal also includes in each issue an obituary for a mujahid killed by Chinese forces, essays on Salafi theological topics, and news about Jihadi operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere. A special section is devoted to the sayings of Hasan Makhdoom (aka Abu Muhammad al-Turkistani, the ETIM leader killed by Pakistani security services in 2003. In general, the language and tone of the journal are indistinguishable from those used by countless al-Qa’eda affiliates across the Internet.

Both the U.S. Department of State and the Chinese government believe that ETIM maintains ties to al Qaeda. The State Department says ETIM has received “training and funding” from the al Qaeda network and that ETIM members fought against U.S. troops in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom (post 9/11). Two ETIM members were deported to China from Kyrgyzstan in 2002 for allegedly plotting attacks against the U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek. The IMU, known as the Islamic Party of Turkestan (IPT) after 2001, comprises a coalition of Jihadis drawn from across the Central Asian Republics and is known to be a close affiliate of al Qaeda. The TIP, which shares the IPT goal of creating an Islamic state across Central Asia, is thought to be an affiliate as well. Al Qaeda’s number two deputy to Usama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has mentioned the Uyghurs a total of five times in his tapes since 2005, according to the counterterrorist organization, IntelCenter. In a February 2009 rant, al-Zawahiri criticized the UN for placing the TIP on its list of designated terror groups.

This welter of group names and affiliations can be confusing: it’s meant to be. Terrorist groups routinely form, splinter, and re-form under different names. Sometimes it’s just internal group dynamics at play and sometimes it’s a deliberate effort to confuse and deceive. The way to keep it all straight is to listen and read what they say. If they call for imposition of Shari’a law, they are Jihadis. Jihadis would like to replace the U.S. Constitution with Shari’a law, too.

An inter-agency panel comprised of all the U.S. national security agencies convened in early 2009 by the White House to review the status of all GITMO detainees clearly “gets it” about these GITMO Uyghurs and deemed them too dangerous to release. So does FBI Director Robert Mueller, who publicly declared it would be risky to relocate GITMO prisoners to U.S. facilities. In a move that took many by surprise, the House and Senate both have denied President Obama’s request for $81 million to close Guantanamo without a detailed plan about where the detainees would go.

But the White House, some in Congress, and others in our policymaking leadership continue to allow themselves to be toyed with by the international Islamic Jihad movement. Jed Babbin, writing in Human Events on April 20, 2009, said that Defense Department sources report “the White House legal office has told the inter-agency review group to re-do their findings” to come up with a finding that the GITMO Uyghur Jihadis pose no danger if released into the U.S. A federal court had ordered their release in October 2008, but an appeals court overturned that decision. Since that point, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been coy in public statements, saying only that “some of the GITMO inmates” may be released into the U.S. In his speech at the National Archives on 22 May 2009, President Obama mounted a strident defense of his plan to close GITMO, denounced opposition to the closure as “fear-mongering,” and touted American values that he says would make the country safer.

Let’s be very clear: the first responsibility of the President of the United States is to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Forcible imposition of Shari’a law is utterly antithetical to that oath – and yet that is exactly what the GITMO Jihadis, Uyghurs included, are sworn to accomplish. Moving them to a prison on American soil, even a super max facility, is no answer: as the FBI bust in the Bronx synagogue bombing plot of four American converts to Islamic Jihad demonstrates, U.S. prisons are places where Jihad is preached and learned. Send any of the GITMO Jihadis to a U.S. prison and they will be greeted as rock stars – and immediately set about proselytizing fellow inmates.

But set them loose on the streets of Alexandria, Virginia or Washington, D.C.? Sheer folly, as a growing chorus of Congressional leaders, including Virginia Senator Jim Webb, is now beginning to realize. The GITMO Uyghurs are Jihadis. This is one of those instances in which NIMBY makes perfect sense.

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Clare Lopez is the Vice President of the Intelligence Summit and a Professor at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies.

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