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US asks Germany to take Chinese Guantanamo detainees: report

[JURIST] German Chancellor Angela Merkel [BBC profile] has been asked by the US government to accept a group of Chinese Uighur detainees currently being held [JURIST report] at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], according to a report in Friday's Die Welt [media website, in German] newspaper. The US asked Germany to take the detainees because the country already has a group of refugee Uighurs living in Bavaria, but Germany is reportedly reticent to accept the Uighurs for fear of alienating China. Merkel, who has not responded to the report, called on President Bush to shut down the military prison [JURIST report] at Guantanamo Bay before she visited the US in January.

In December, US District Court Judge James Robertson ruled [opinion, PDF] that the Uighurs' detention was illegal, but authorized their continued detention because they could be tortured if released to China due to their Muslim faith [HRW report]. Lawyers for the detainees have appealed directly to the Supreme Court [JURIST report] bypassing the federal appeals court, saying only the high court can resolve the case. AFP has more.

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