October 9, 2008

The Ironic Rule of Law

With regard to the imminent release of 17 Uighurs from their indefinite detention at Guantanamo, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has demanded their repatriation, offering assurances that they would not subsequently be tortured, because China is a nation ruled by law and does not torture. Did they copy this from a US Justice Department press release? First they pirate our DVDs and now our legalistic dissembling? Pioneering torture-policy authors like John Yoo are apt to be pretty steamed.

The main concern for the US is that they be deported to a Muslim nation where no one speaks Uighur, as it would be unseemly to have accounts of their Gitmo imprisonment appear concurrently with China's pitching of itself as a human-rights friendly country.
The US task would seem to be an easy one if it weren't for the fact that Albania has to be crossed off the list, having accepted the previous group of Uighur detainees. I'm sure they are enjoying their greatly-improved living conditions in Tirana, but their comrades may have to settle for the Maldives. Or perhaps India will allow them sanctuary in the Nicobar Islands, which, though generally off-limits to outsiders, might open its gates if Washington sends New Delhi a nice little gift of fissionable materials.
clipped from voanews.com
In 2006, U.S. authorities released five Uighurs from Guantanamo and sent them to Albania.
Now, though, the Bush administration has been having a harder time finding a third country to accept the Chinese Muslims. The White House fears the detainees could be tortured if they are turned over to China.
Qin Gang talks to reporters in Beijing, 07 Oct 2008
Qin Gang talks to reporters in Beijing
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said fears of persecution are not valid.
Qin says people who worry that the Uighurs will be tortured if returned to China have a "biased mind." He says China is a country ruled by law, and that Chinese law forbids torture.

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