Australia pressed to take Uighurs

Published on BBCnews, 30 May 2009.

US President Barack Obama has asked the Australian government to accept a group of Chinese Muslim detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

The Uighurs have been cleared for release by US courts.

It is the first time Australia has been approached by the Obama administration over the Uighurs. Two requests by the Bush administration were turned down.

China has requested the Uighurs’ return, but the US will not send them there for fear they will be persecuted.

President Barack Obama has said he intends to close the Guantanamo Bay prison by January 2010 and is considering what to do with its remaining 240 detainees … (full text).

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