The Five Remaining Uyghurs Should Be Released Immediately

Guantanamo’s torture camp still holds five of the original twenty-two Uyghurs, Muslims from China who fled that country and took refuge in Afghanistan where they did have rather vague and probably unrealistic aspirations to win freedom in whatever way they could from the government there.  No one, not even the US authorities, even seem to have thought they were enemies of the US.


The Xinjiang autonomous region is the area in China from which the Uyghurs came.

Abdul Razak, Yusef Abbas, Saidullah Khalik, Hajiakbar Abdulghupur, and Ahmed Mohamed are still imprisoned.  All five of them won habeas corpus petitions in 2008, which the Bush regime’s “justice” department officers immediately challenged and which the Obama regime’s continue to challenge.

These men are no different from their seventeen fellows who were allowed to go to other countries, except that those countries would only accept a small number each.  The US courts said they should be released to the US.  The Bush and Obama regimes, afflicted with the US racism and hatred of Muslims, would not allow that.  As their lawyer pointed out, the US held on its land WWII prisoners of war, but somehow can’t allow these innocent Chinese citizens any room?

The US bombing completely destroyed the place where they lived.  Andy Worthington  reports that “Hajiakbar Abdulghupur explained, ‘it looked like no one ever even stayed in that place.’ [speaking of the place they lived in Aghanistan.]  Describing what happened afterwards, he said:

“‘After that there was no stopping. There was constantly bombing all the time. In the mountain we stayed in a cave because we didn’t know where to go. We were waiting for our leaders to come and tell us to go to the city or somewhere else but no one showed up [because they had been killed by the US bombing] and we decided to go to Pakistan. When we got to Pakistan, the local people came to us with tea, bread and meat, really good stuff. In the middle of the night they came to take us to the mosque. We went to the mosque and then they turned us over to the Pakistani authorities. They put us in cars and took us to jail. After that they turned us over to the US.'”

Such betrayal of innocent people who had experienced the horrors of the US invasion of Afghanistan are common.  The bounty paid by the US was not even large in real terms, but the people of the region are poor and it must have seemed like a lot.  I am grateful never to have been either sold into captivity nor tempted to sell anyone.

That my tax money went first to the vicious bombing raids that destroyed so many innocent people and their homes and to buy these poor people’s imprisonment and torture is, however, true.  I am trying to find what ways I can to take responsibility for that and to change it.  I cannot say that it has nothing to do with me, for it so clearly does.

I can at this moment and do declare that Abdul Razak, Yusef Abbas, Saidullah Khalik, Hajiakbar Abdulghupur, and Ahmed Mohamed are human beings just like me and that they deserve justice and freedom.

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