Will Germany Take Guantanamo Detainees?

Berlin has been asked to accept some of the Guantanamo detainees, a group that includes Uighur Chinese. From Spiegel Online, a look at the controversy:

Yes, he travelled to Afghanistan. Yes, he learned to fire a semi-automatic weapon there. “But I only ever used the weapon once, I shot four or five bullets. And never at people. And never in combat situations.”

[...] [T]hese are the kinds of quotes — and stories — that have been exciting debate in Berlin and worrying the regional governments in states like Bavaria. Because if it was up to the Obama administration, individuals like Anvar would already be on a plane bound for Germany — most likely, with a one-way ticket and best wishes for the future. A future somewhere as far away as possible from the United States, that is.

[...] Anvar, who is in his mid-30s, comes from the village of Tashkoruq in the Chinese province of Xinjiang. Anvar is from the Uighur ethnic group, mainly resident in eastern and central Asia. The Uighurs make up almost half of the population of the Xinjiang region, are mainly Muslim and have been the subject of brutal repression by the Chinese. Shortly after the September 11 attacks in the US, and under some pressure from the Chinese government, Washington moved to recognize the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) — to which Anvar and the other potentially Germany-bound Uighurs belong — as a terrorist organization. As a result more than 20 ETIM members were brought to Guantanamo as “enemy combatants.”

May 12, 2009 11:36 PM
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