Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Legal Status of Uighurs still an issue in Palau

Legal status of Uighurs in Palau an issue
Palau Horizon
Monday, 13 July 2009 13:15 By Bernadette H. Carreon - Horizon News Staff

KOROR(Palau Horizon) - President Johnson Toribiong said Palau and United States are still “ironing out” the travel documents of Uighurs detainees who may want to resettle in this island nation.

The Guantanamo Bay detainees cannot be issued Palauan passports, Toribiong pointed out.

“The Constitution requires that you must have Palauan blood to be a citizen,” he said.

Palauan passports are tied to bloodlines, he added.

Palau is working with the U.S. to address this issue.

The Uighurs are concerned about the legal status they would have in Palau, and whether they could obtain documentations such as a passport.

Palau has agreed to provide temporary resettlement to the Uighur detainees as a humanitarian gesture.

Four of the 17 detainees have already moved to Bermuda and eight of the remaining 13 have expressed interest in resettling in Palau.

Toribiong said the resettlement proposal is still being drafted.

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