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Palau To Take Guantanamo Uighurs


Palau to take Guantanamo Uighurs | al Jazeera

The tiny Pacific island nation of Palau has agreed to a US request to temporarily resettle 17 Chinese Muslim ethnic Uighurs held at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre for more than seven years.

In a statement on Wednesday Johnson Toribiong, the country's president, said he had agreed to resettle the Uighur detainees "subject to periodic review".

The 17 were cleared for release from Guantanamo four years ago after US officials ruled there was no evidence to hold them as "enemy combatants".

Last year a US federal judge ordered the men released into the US, but an appeals court halted the order, and they have been in legal limbo ever since.

The US state department has said the Uighurs cannot be returned to China, despite requests from Beijing that they be handed over, because of fears they will face persecution and possible execution.

Instead US officials have been trying to find a third country willing to take them in, but in the meantime they have been kept in Guantanamo, spending up to 22 hours a day locked in their cells. Read more.

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