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5 Uygurs refuse to settle in Palau

[ 2009-06-23 11:24]     字号 [] [] []  
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KOROR, Palau: Five of 13 Guantanamo Bay detainees set for resettlement in the tiny Pacific nation of Palau do not want to go there, President Johnson Toribiong said yesterday.

Palau said earlier this month it had agreed to take the detainees, members of the Chinese Muslim Uygur ethnic group.

But Toribiong said only eight of 13 Uygur detainees destined for Palau had agreed to be interviewed by a delegation of Palau officials who visited the controversial US detention center at Guantanamo Bay last week.

"A handful may not come," Toribiong told reporters.

He declined to discuss whether arrangements had been made for the transfer of the detainees, who were cleared of any wrongdoing by the US four years ago.

Palau politicians and traditional chiefs are due to be briefed on the delegation's visit to Guantanamo today, with a press conference a day later.

Toribiong insisted the public feedback on the resettlement had been positive, despite some speaking out against his decision.

"Those who oppose it are misinformed," he added.

"Had I said no to President Obama, what do you think would have been the consequences?" Toribiong said, without giving details.

He reiterated the decision was not related to upcoming negotiations on future US aid to Palau, which Washington administered until independence in 1994.

The detainees were part of a group of 22 Uygurs living in a self-contained camp in Afghanistan when the US-led invasion of the country began in October 2001, in the wake of the September 11 attacks that year.

US President Barack Obama has promised to shut down Guantanamo by January, and Washington has been pushing for other countries to accept inmates with no charges against them.


1. How many former Guantanamo detainees are not willing to be relocated to the Pacific island?

2. Where are they originally from?

3. Did the group, members of the Uygur ethnicity end up getting charged by the US?


1. 5 of 13.

2. China.

3. No.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

5 Uygurs refuse to settle in Palau

5 Uygurs refuse to settle in PalauBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.