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Chinese interrogation of Uighur detainees at Guantanamo Bay

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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.

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Lawrence J. Gist II is a dedicated pro bono attorney and counselor at law, adjunct professor of legal studies at Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles, CA, a member of the board of directors of the Institute of Indigenous Knowledges, and a veteran (more...)
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