The controversy in Europe over whether to accept detainees from Guantanamo has just been raised a few notches, after the Obama Administration formally asked Germany to accept nine Uyghur men who were wrongfully arrested, held and reportedly tortured at the base – and who if returned to China, would likely go through the same thing all over again – and worse.
In this first of two articles from Die Zeit – one for and one against accepting the former detainees, Theo Summer argues that Americans brought this on themselves – and that China wouldn’t appreciate German acceptance of nine men that it regards at separatist-terrorists.
“Why should people in Bavaria or Lower Saxony take in those who Texas and Illinois refuse to accept? … Barack Obama wants to redress the injustice inflicted on the Guantanamo detainees under his predecessor, which is honorable. But it’s the duty of the perpetrator nation to remedy the situation. The restitution cannot, simply by blithely referring to the solidarity of the Alliance, be pushed on to other nations – and certainly not those who have always regarded Guantanamo as the downfall of American democracy. In any case: if the Uyghurs are dangerous, it is impertinent to unload them on us. However, if they pose no threat, it’s difficult to see why America itself doesn’t offer them asylum.”
By Theo Summer
Translated By Jonathan Lobsien
May 21, 2009
Germany – Die Zeit – Original Article (German)
America’s request that the Federal Republic should accept nine Uyghurs who for years have been rotting away in Guantanamo, is – to put it mildly – an unreasonable demand. As much as one might wish that they finally receive justice – along with about a dozen other of their fellow countrymen who were tortured and confined to cages at the U.S. camp after September 11th – and then kept outside of all law under George W. Bush – we should not accede to this unjust demand. There are three reasons to argue against it.
“First: It isn’t clear why others should face the music for what the Americans have brought upon themselves. Why should people in Bavaria or Lower Saxony take in those who Texas and Illinois refuse to accept? Barack Obama wants to redress the injustice inflicted on the Guantanamo detainees under his predecessor, which is honorable. But it’s the duty of the perpetrator nation to remedy the situation.”
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