Bermuda Welcomes Former Guantanamo Detainees Amid Protests


Hundreds of protesters have called for Bermudian Premier Ewart Brown to step down, accusing him of acting unilaterally in his decision to allow four Guantanamo Bay prisoners to settle in Bermuda. Under an agreement with Brown, the United States last week sent to the British territory four members of China’s Muslim Uighur minority who had been held at the Guantanamo prison camp for seven years, long after the US military and courts determined they posed no threat. The United States said it could not send them to China because they faced persecution there, but U.S. politicians blocked efforts to release them in the United States.

Brown has also been chided by the British government for not having consulted with them before agreeing to allow entry to the Uighur detainees. At the moment, London is helping Bermuda to carry out a “security assessment” on the four, who were released last Thursday in Bermuda, a British spokesman confirmed, noting that they had no passports so could not leave Bermuda. Bermuda’s immigration minister, David Burch, said the four Uighur men had received several job offers but that their status remained in limbo until the British government completes a security review.

Bermuda, a popular tourist destination and affluent island, is a British Overseas Territory with a governor appointed by the UK, but has its own government to run its internal affairs.

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