News / Asia

China Slams US Transfer of Uighurs From Guantanamo

File - Prisoners at the U.S. Guantanamo base.File - Prisoners at the U.S. Guantanamo base.
File - Prisoners at the U.S. Guantanamo base.
File - Prisoners at the U.S. Guantanamo base.
VOA News
China has criticized the United States' decision to transfer three Uighur inmates from the Guantanamo Bay prison to Slovakia.

The men were the last of 22 Uighur Muslims held at the controversial facility, which U.S. President Barack Obama has vowed to close.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Thursday the men are dangerous and should have been returned to China.

"They are genuine terrorists. They not only threaten China's security, they will threaten the security of the country that receives them. China hopes the relevant country honors its international obligations, does not give asylum to terrorists, and sends them back to China as soon as possible," said Qin Gang.

Beijing says the men belong to the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which it says is fighting for independence in western China's Xinjiang province.

Uighurs, the largest ethnic group in Xinjiang, complain of discrimination. Many fear they will be tortured or sent back to prison if sent to China.

Alim Seytoff of the American Uighur Association welcomed the transfer of the men, telling VOA that they posed no risk.

"These Uighurs, as cleared by the U.S. government, were not terrorists, as described by the Chinese government. They have never posed a threat to any country or any people. The Chinese government described them as terrorists in order to justify the heavy-handed crackdown against the peaceful Uighur people since 9/11," said Alim Seytoff.

The men were arrested during the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan and held by the U.S. as alleged terrorists.

A U.S. judge ordered all 22 freed in 2008, but U.S. officials had trouble finding new home countries for all of them.

The 19 other Uighur prisoners have resettled in other countries.

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Comment Sorting
by: John from: San Diego
January 02, 2014 10:56 PM
China should support the released of these independence and freedom fighters and stop genocide their people instead of making an irresponsible and provocative remarks. The han chinese just cannot invaded and illegally occupied another country and expect others to be nice to you. Bad Karma!

by: Taiji Robinhood
January 02, 2014 5:23 PM
The American government has cultivated so many terrorists who backfire the Americans, with Bin Laden being a good example. Not return the Chinese terrorists to China will create troubles to the world!
In Response

by: Wangchuk from: NYC
January 07, 2014 10:04 AM
There is no evidence that these Uighurs (therey are not Chinese) were terrorists or committed any terrorist acts. Your PRC Govt has convicted them w/o even a trial. Typical of the lack of due process of law in the PRC under the CCP. That is why the US released them to Slovakia b/c they would have no rights & no due process if returned to the PRC.

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
January 02, 2014 2:59 PM
If These uyghurs are not terrorists then what the hel l you arrested and tortured them in Guantanamo in the first place?
What the hel l they were doing in Afghanistan with al Qaida?
What the hel you kept them in Guantanamo for so long, ten years?
America, can you be more shameless?
In Response

by: Wangchuk from: NYC
January 07, 2014 10:13 AM
The PRC has arrested, imprisoned and executed thousands of Uighurs on false charges of terrorism or separatism even though those Uighurs committed no violent acts. The PRC has turned Xinjiang into a giant police state where Uighurs are treated as 2nd class citizens & do not have equal rights w/ Han Chinese. The CCP has imposed severe restrictions on religious freedom of Uighurs. And during all this time, Jon Huang has not voiced one criticism of CCP policies towards Uighurs. We can tell who is paying him to express his views on these comment boards.
In Response

by: Papa Joe from: Edmonton
January 03, 2014 5:06 AM
Jonathan, in the eyes of America all Muslims are guilty of terrorism until proven innocent. 10 years is only the time frame to prove their innocence for certain.

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