Uighur leader to visit ex-Gitmo detainees
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Last Updated: Friday, November 06, 2009, 18:55
Koror (US): Exiled Chinese Muslim leader Rebiya Kadeer will travel to Palau as soon as next week to visit six fellow Uighurs released from Guantanamo Bay, a spokesman for the men said today.

The six detainees arrived in Palau on Sunday as part of US President Barack Obama's drive to close the controversial Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

Palau President Johnson Toribiong said yesterday that three members of the World Uighur Congress would be arriving in the country to visit the six men, possibly as soon as next week.

Mampimin Ala, the translator for the six former detainees, confirmed that Kadeer, the US-based head of the congress, would be among the visitors.

"She will be here to give spiritual solace to the Uighurs," Ala said.

Kadeer, who is labelled a criminal by China, is also expected to meet Toribiong to discuss the future of her fellow Uighurs.

The six were transferred to Palau, a former US-administered territory that achieved independence in 1994, after Toribiong agreed to provide a temporary home.

The six had been held at Guantanamo for nearly eight years despite being cleared of all charges four years ago. The US has refused to send them back to China for fear they would be persecuted.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, November 06, 2009, 18:55

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