Canadian Government Refuses to Repatriate 17 Chinese Muslims from Guantanamo Bay

Canada has refused a request from the Obama administration to take 17 Chinese Muslims called Uighurs cleared for release from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay. A spokesperson for Prime Minister Harper says they have no connection to Canada and there are security concerns. Authorities claim that Uighurs detained at Guantanamo were fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Uighurs fear persecution if they are sent back to China. Their quest to settle in Canada is complicated by the case of Omar Khadr, a 22-year-old Canadian who has been detained in Guantanamo since 2002 on accusations of lobbing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier during a battle between al-Qaeda fighters and U.S. forces in Afghanistan.