Switzerland avoids taking Uighurs at Guantanamo
Switzerland should not take in any more inmates from the illegal U.S. Guantanamo prison, a parliamentary security committee recommended in a 15-10 vote.
Switzerland should not take in any more inmates from the illegal U.S. prison in Guantanamo, Cuba, a parliamentary security committee recommended in a 15-10 vote.
The Swiss cabinet is not obliged to accept the recommendation of the lower house panel, which cited safety fears after the attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day, a spokeswoman for parliament said on Tuesday.
No timetable had been set for the executive body to discuss the issue, said a cabinet spokesman.
In December, Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said Switzerland might accept more Guantanamo detainees and the canton of Geneva committed to taking in an Uzbek from the prison, where some of the inmates were kept for years without trial.
Committee president Jakob Buechler also cited China's opposition to Switzerland accepting two Uighur detainees, to be housed in the canton of Jura, the spokeswoman said, adding the vote did not affect the Uzbek in Geneva.
Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking Muslim people, many of whom complain Chinese restrictions and pressure on their religious and cultural traditions.
Beijing has demanded Uighurs held at Guantanamo be returned to China, but the U.S. government has declined to comply with the request, saying they would face persecution in China.
When U.S. President Barack Obama came into office last year he ordered a review of all detainees in Guantanamo to determine who could be freed and who would be referred for prosecution in criminal or military courts.
Reuters Last Mod: 13 Ocak 2010, 12:30