Emails between Nina Schou, Robert Harris, JoAnn Dolan, Todd Buchwald and Others re: U.S. Urged Not to Send Uyghur Detainees Back to China

Emails between Nina Schou, Robert Harris, JoAnn Dolan, Todd Buchwald and Others re: Human rights groups and members of the small overseas community of ethnic Uyghurs are urging the United States to scrap any plans to send back to China ethnic Uyghur prisoners now held by U.S. forces in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, RFA's Uyghur service reports.

Doc_type: 
Email
Doc_date: 
Thursday, December 11, 2003
Doc_rel_date: 
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Doc_text: 

UNCLASSIFIED

RELEASED IN FULL
Tillery, Monica J
From:O Schou, Nina E (SBU) Sent:O Thursday, December 11, 2003 1:20 PM To:O Harris, Robert K (SBU); Dolan, JoAnn (SBU); Dorosin, Joshua L (SBU); Buchwald, Todd F
(SBU); Witten, Samuel M (SBU) Cc:O Brancato, Gilda M (SBU) Subject:O RE: U.S. urged not to send Uyghur detainees back to China
this is also the subject of an incoming inquiry from the Special Rapporteur on Torture which also addresses other issues re. treatment of detainees at Gtmo.

L/HRR and L/PM will need to work together on the response.
OOriginal Message O
From: Harris, Robert K (SBU)
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2003 1:13 PM
To: Schou, Nina E (SBU); Dolan, JoAnn (SBU); Dorosin, Joshua L (SBU);
Buchwald, Todd F (SBU); Witten, Samuel M (SBU)
Subject: FW: U.S. urged not to send Uyghur detainees back to China

FYI

OOriginal MessageO
From: Osullivan, Susan X (DRL)
Sent: Thursday, December 11 ; 2003 12:44 PM
To: Miller, Ronald W; 'pprosper@hotmail.com '; Morrow, Holly H (EAP/CM);
Harris, Robert K (SBU); Dugan; Elizabeth X (DRL); (@), User Template
Cc: Craner, Lorne W (DRL); Jackson, Robert P (DRL)
Subject: FW: U.S. urged not to send Uyghur detainees back to China

RFA report on Uighurs in Guantanomo.

OOriginal MessageO
From: Nury A. Turkel [mailto:nuryturkel@hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 11:36 PM
Subject: U.S. urged not to send Uyghur detainees back to China

U.S. urged not to send Uyghur detainees back to China
Human rights groups and members of the small overseas community of ethnic Uyghurs are urging the United States to scrap any plans to send back to
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE U
REVIEW AUTHORITY: FRANK E SCHMELZER UNCLASSIFIED0DOS-00121 6
DATE/CASE ID: 16 DEC 2004 200303827

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China ethnic Uyghur prisoners now held by U.S. forces in Guantanamo Bay,
Cuba, RFA's Uyghur service reports.
More than a dozen Uyghurs are said to be among the detainees at the U.S.
naval base, where Washington has held suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban
fighters. They were reportedly training in Afghanistan with Uyghur groups
seeking independence or greater autonomy from China's far-western Xinjiang
Autonomous Region.
In a Dec. 8 letter to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, the
Washington-based Uyghur-American Association said it was "deeply disturbed"
by reports that the United States is considering a Chinese request to
repatriate any Uyghurs held in Guantanamo Bay.
"Members of the Uyghur American Association together with many human rights activists around the world are concerned that the detainees will be mistreated if they are returned to China," Nury Turkel, general secretary of the association, wrote. The organization represents the several hundred ethnic Uyghurs now living in the United States.
"Moreover, there is no way for the United States and international
organizations to guarantee the fairness of the trial and the treatment that
the detainees will receive once they are returned to China. Experience tells
us that any appeals and suggestions made by international organization and
United States on their behalf will fall upon the deaf ears of Chinese
officials."
The German-based East Turkestan National Congress has also launched a
letter-writing campaign to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to protest China's heavy-handed treatment of its Uyghur people and Washington's plans to send the detainees back. "Most annoying for us is the reports about
returning of an unspecified number of Uyghurs who fled the Chinese .
persecution and were caught by the U.S. forces in Afghanistan... to the cruel disposal of the Beijing regime by the most powerful democracy of the world," president Enver Can wrote in his letter to Annan.
Other Uyghur associations in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Turkey said Wednesday they were also drafting letters of protest that they would deliver to U.S. Embassy personnel in each of those countries, while Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also urged the Bush administration to rebuff Chinese requests to send the Uyghur detainees back to China.
"While Amnesty International has been calling for, and would welcome, releases of detainees from the base, it is concerned that some detainees may face serious human rights abuses, including torture and execution, if returned to their countries," Amnesty said in a statement Dec. 4. The London-based group stopped short of saying where the Uyghurs might be sent.

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Separately, New York-based Human Rights Watch on Nov. 27 called on Washington not to repatriate any Uyghurs held at Guantanamo Bay. "China has a long and well-documented history of repression of the Uyghurs, a Muslim, Turkic-speaking community," the group said in a statement. 'The death
penalty has been used against those found guilty of separatist activities after trials that do not meet international fair trial standards."
'The United States should not even contemplate returning Uyghurs to China," said Brad Adams, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division.
"Any assurances from China that it will not mistreat returnees would not be worth the paper they are written on.
Unnamed U.S. military officials have been quoted as saying the United States was preparing to release 140 prisoners from Guantanamo, calling them "the easiest 20 percent" of the estimated 660 people held there. China has urged the United States to repatriate all Uyghur detainees and said it would
handle their cases in accordance with domestic and international law.
Administration officials contacted repeatedly by RFA correspondents have declined to comment on the fate of the Uyghur detainees.
Uyghurs constitute a distinct Muslim minority in northwestern China and Central Asia. They declared a short-lived East Turkestan Republic in Xinjiang in the late 1940s but have remained under Beijing's control since
1949. According to a Chinese Government white paper, in 1998 Xinjiang comprised 8 million Uyghurs, 2.5 million other ethnic minorities, and 6.4 million Han Chinese-up from 300,000 Han in 1949. Most Uyghurs are poor farmers, and at least 25 percent are illiterate.
Copyright © 2001-2003 Radio Free Asia.
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6236
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67