So, here’s the deal. There are these 17 Uighurs (or Uyghurs, pronounced “wee-grr”), right? They’re part of a Muslim minority group who come from the far-western province of Xinjiang, China. And they’ve been detained at Guantanamo for the last 6 years after getting rounded up in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over the course of that time, it’s been determined that they aren’t enemy combatants–enemies of the U.S. or our allies–nor is there significant evidence demonstrating that they’re any kind of threat, nor do they have ties to al Qaeda. They have been cleared for release and are free to go. But if they return home to China, they’ll likely be tortured and persecuted. Like Tibetans, Uighurs have suffered plenty of human rights-abuses at the hands of the Chinese government but received far less attention for them, probably because they believe in a religion that scares people instead of one that, say, attracts a beautiful Hollywood following. While the 17 Uighurs have petitioned for asylum in the U.S., they’ve been denied twice, most recently by Obama.
Ever the dickish troll, Newt Gingrich has said that the Uighurs are not an “American problem,” despite the fact that they have been unlawfully detained by our government for the last 6 years. So whose problem are they? And uihere in the uiorld uiill the Uighurs go now?
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