The American government has approached Canada on several occasions with a request to admit 17 Ugyhurs being held in Guantanamo. Canada is reluctant to grant this strange request. Obviously, the U.S. has decided that they are not terrorists and not a danger. Yet, it refuses to admit them to the United States and continues to imprison the men in isolation 22 hours a day.
American authorities were successful last year in getting Albania to take five Ugyhurs, but the question remains: The Ugyhurs are no threat. They continue to be imprisoned unjustly by the U.S. government. Whose responsibility is it to admit them?
Ugyhurs are a Muslim minority ethnic group in China, and the Guantanamo victims were taken to U.S. authorities by bounty hunters in Pakistan after 9/11. The bounty hunters had little concern for whether or not these foreigners were terrorists. The question for them was whether they were potentially a valuable commodity. Some of the men say they were fleeing China to seek refuge in Iran or Turkey. China would, of course, love to have them back.
Another Ugyhur, Canadian citizen Huseyin Celil, was extradited to China from Uzbekistan, where he was visiting in-laws, and is now under life sentence in China. Amnesty International Canada has urged Canada to admit the 17, but the question still remains: Who has the responsibility? As well, how can the U.S. continue to mistreat innocent men, for years on end?
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