Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Uighurs in military plane, shackled to floor bolts
The five men were Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gers) captured in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. They had traveled there from their homeland in the Xinjiang province of China, where the Uighur people, most of whom are Muslims, have fought a low-level insurgency against Beijing’s rule for years.
This month, they boarded military plane, where they were shackled to bolts in the floor and surrounded by more than 20 armed soldiers. The five men landed in Tirana, Albania’s capital and largest city and were freed.
Canada has a thriving Uighur community, largely in Toronto. Mr. Qassim said his people had always admired the United States and had hoped that one day America would rally to the Uighurs’ cause for freedom. "We still believe the U.S. is a good country with good people, " he said. "But the government has made a mistake and is still making it." here
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