The Mix

At least they have ping pong

The U.S. military admits it made a mistake when it sent to two Uighur Chinese men to Guantanamo Bay. But even though they're not "enemy combatants," we won't let them go.
Abu Bakker Qassim and A'Del Abdu al-Hakim are Chinese muslims, members of a small ethnic group called Uighurs, a group currently facing religious persecution in China. They were mistakenly arrested and sent to Guantanamo Bay. The U.S. military readily admits they messed up in this case, the two men have nothing to do with any attacks on the U.S. and are not considered enemy combatants. But now that they've got them at Guantanamo, they won't let them go.

Why? Because they don't want the two men coming to the United States and if they are sent back to China, there is a high likelihood that they will be killed. The U.S. is pressuring Germany to take them (I have no idea why Germany), although Germany hasn't agreed yet.

But it seems that because the U.S. has mistreated the men for four years, keeping them holed up at Guantanamo even when it knew they were innocent, a little U.S. welcome wouldn't be out of place as an apology.

According to the Bush administration lawyer, the two men have everything they need at Guantanamo: "a television, a stereo system, books and recreational opportunities: including soccer, volleyball and ping-pong."

The men beg to differ, saying they also need their freedom and that Guantanamo's not as cheery a place as the lawyer imagines it.

Their appeal was rejected today by the Supreme Court. The case is still being heard by the U.S. court of appeals.
Rachel Neumann is Rights & Liberties Editor at AlterNet.
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