Six Uighur Guantanamo detainees transferred to Palau

Six Uighur Guantanamo detainees transferred to Palau

[JURIST] Six Chinese Uighur Guantanamo Bay detainees [JURIST news archive] were transferred [press release] to the Republic of Palau [CIA backgrounder] Saturday, according to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website]. The six men, Ahmad Tourson, Abdul Ghappar Abdul Rahman, Edham Mamet, Anwar Hassan, Dawut Abdurehim and Adel Noori, were relocated to a home in the middle of Koror, the commercial center of the island nation, where they will be among a Muslim population of about 500. The DOJ said the men had been cleared for release under the Bush administration, as they were no longer considered unlawful enemy combatants [10 USC 948a text; JURIST news archive]. The men had also been subject to review by the Joint Task Force [official website] for Guantanamo detainees, and were approved for release. With the transfer, seven Uighurs remain in custody at Guantanamo.

Earlier this month, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal [JURIST report] of the remaining Uighur detainees. In June, Palau President Johnson Toribiong said that his country was willing to accept [JURIST report] all 17 of the Uighur detainees held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archives]. Following that statement, four of the Uighurs were transferred to Bermuda [JURIST report]. The Chinese government has repeatedly demanded the repatriation of the Uighurs, maintaining that they are members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) [CFR backgrounder], a militant group that calls for separation from China and has been a US-designated terrorist group since 2002. The US has previously rejected China's calls to repatriate [JURIST report] the Uighurs, citing fear of torture upon their return.