U.S. Rep. Bill Delahunt announced today
that his House Foreign Affairs Oversight and Human Rights
Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the Chinese interrogation of
Uighur detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
In September 2002 the Department of
Defense allowed a Chinese delegation to visit Guantanamo Bay for a
period of seven to ten days. During that period the 22 Uighurs then
detained at Guantanamo were required to meet with Chinese agents.
During the last Congress, Delahunt and his Ranking Member Dana
Rohrabacher, with the permission of counsel, asked to visit
Guantanamo to interview the Uighurs that still remained. Their
request was refused by the Department of Defense that later explained
that "no Congressman can interrogate or question detainees
because it is not part of their oversight responsibilities."
In light of China's recent crackdown in
the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, this hearing will explore why
Chinese agents were allowed to meet with a known persecuted minority
in the U.S.'s custody. It will also explore the policy behind the
Pentagon's refusal to allow for Congressional questioning and the
limitation of Congressional oversight at Guantanamo.
Alan Liotta, Principal Director of Detainee Affairs for the Department of Defense, will discuss the Chinese visit and explain the Pentagon's stated policy. His testimony will be followed by Jason Pinney, counsel to many of the Uighur detainees, who will explain his clients' experiences at the hands of the Chinese. Bruce Fein, noted legal scholar, will examine the Pentagon's stated reasons for Congressional exclusion and Amnesty International will provide a human rights analysis of the Pentagon's decision.