Uighur leader to visit ex-Gitmo detainees

Last Updated: Friday, November 6, 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

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

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.

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First Published: Friday, November 6, 2009 - 18:55

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