Thursday, April 27, 2006

Uyghurs in Gitmo

An Op-Ed in today's Washington Post concerns the case of Saddiq Ahmad Turkistani, an ethnic Uyghur who was detained in Afghanistan and then transfered to United States detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Prior to being a prisoner of the United States, he was imprisoned and tortured by the Taliban for allegedly plotting to kill Osama bin Laden. Despite the fact that the military has decided that Turkistani is not a enemy combatant, he remains in custody in Camp Iguana, a minimal security detention facility, because there is no safe place for him. His plight is similar to other Uyghurs in Gitmo who will not be repatriated to China where they would almost certainly be tortured or executed, but who will not be given asylum by Western nations afraid of incurring China's wrath.

The United States in this case belongs at the top of the list of cowardly nations. More deplorably, the United States has not been treating Mr. Turkistani very well. If he really did try to assassinate Osama bin Laden--there is some question about whether he was forced to admit to the charge under torture by the Taliban--then he belongs in a Four Seasons Hotel and not at Camp Iguana. In any event, all of the ethnic Uyghurs who are being held in Gitmo despite being cleared by the Combatant Status Review Tribunal deserve their freedom. The Uyghur American Association has news and information about Mr. Turkistani and the other detainees, as well as other human rights issues involving Uyghurs.

posted by Fido the Yak at 2:29 PM.


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