The Swiss Federal Council announced Feb. 3 that it would accept two Uighur detainees from Guantánamo Bay. The council decided to admit the detainees for humanitarian reasons, despite the Chinese citizenship of both Uighurs and recent warnings by the Chinese Embassy that Switzerland would jeopardize relations with China by accepting the detainees. After psychological tests and further investigation, the Council concluded that the detainees did not pose a security threat. Authorities from the canton of Jura, where the detainees will be housed, announced that it was prepared to issue a residence permit. The Council has instructed the Federal Migration Office to approve the permits.
Of the 22 Uighurs originally detained at Guantánamo Bay, 15 have been relocated. Six Uighurs were transferred to Palau in October, four were sent to Bermuda last June, and five were received by Albania in 2006. In December, Albania announced that it would not accept any more Uighur detainees in an effort to preserve positive relations with China. (Jurist, Feb. 3)