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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

China wants Gitmo Uighurs back, says Albania transfer breaks international law
Tom Henry at 8:37 AM ET

[JURIST] In the wake of the US government's decision to transfer [DOD press release] five Chinese Uighur men from Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] to Albania, the Chinese government on Tuesday denounced the move as a violation of international law and demanded the return of the men to China. A Guantanamo Combatant Status Review Tribunal [DOD materials] last year concluded that the five detainees were not a terrorist threat to the US [CCR materials; JURIST report], but the government did not send the men back to China because they could face persecution due to their Muslim faith [HRW backgrounder].

Albania agreed to accept the detainees [JURIST report] last week and was in the process of reviewing their asylum applications when the Albanian government received a "verbal request for extradition" of the five men from Chinese officials, who claim they were part of a violent separatist movement in China. Albania has said it will examine evidence of earlier activities by the men. AP has more.

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