Published on Turkish Weekly, 13 January 2010.
When he became U.S. president, Barack Obama ordered the Guantanamo detention facility closed within a year. That deadline is now fast approaching. Of the prisoners who remain at Guantanamo, U.S. authorities will have a difficult time resettling the seven Uighurs who are still there. The Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking Chinese Muslim minority. Beijing has not wasted any opportunity to assert its claim to decide what happens to the Guantanamo Uighurs … //
… Uighurs from Guantanamo have been resettled to Albania, Bermuda and Palau. The United States has refused to send them back to China or grant them U.S. refugee status. The latest country to consider taking in two of the Uighurs is Switzerland. The Chinese spokeswoman called on Bern to take into consideration China’s concerns. Jiang says she hopes Switzerland can consider overall bilateral relations and refuse to accept any Uighur suspects from Guantanamo Bay. Swiss officials say there has been no final decision. Last month, Cambodia returned to China more than 20 Uighurs who had fled to Cambodia to seek refugee status, following strong protest from the Chinese government. The Uighurs had left their homeland, Xinjiang, in western China, following deadly ethnic riots in July that left nearly 200 people dead.China accuses some Uighurs of seeking an independent homeland. Uighurs accuse the Chinese government of discrimination and repression. (full text).
Schnelle, nicht repräsentative TV Umfrage /A non representatif quick TV poll:
Sollen wir Guantanamo-Uiguren in der Schweiz/im Kanton Jura ansiedeln? / Shall we settle Guantanamo-Uigurs in Switzerland /the Jura-region?
- ja, aufnehmen, ein guter Draht zu den USA ist wichtig / yes, accept, a good relation with the US is importent: 8 %;
- nein, nicht aufnehmen, wir sollten es uns mit China nicht verderben / no, not accept, we don’t want harm relations with China: 8 %;
- ja, grundsätzlich aufnehmen, die Männer sind unschuldig /by princip: yes, accept, these men are not guilty: 34 %;
- no, grundsätzlich nicht aufnehmen, Guantánamo geht uns nichts an / no, not accept, it’s an US mess and not our affair: 50 %.
(My comment: yesterday night we had a long TV-debate about the question. Some spokesleaders of the 34% wanting Human Rights be our first consideration told their shame if this expressed egoism of half of our population will win [my question: too long in peace and wealth to know what means real horror?]. I join these 34%, I want these 2 Uigurs in Switzerland and tell China: don’t mix up in our concerns).