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You are here News Human Rights How a group of 22 men from China's Uighur community were sold in Afghanistan and imprisoned in Gitmo as terrorists.

How a group of 22 men from China's Uighur community were sold in Afghanistan and imprisoned in Gitmo as terrorists.

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22 Uighurs in GitmoChina's western autonomous region of Xinjiang is home to the country's mostly Muslim Uighur minority.

But many have fled China in recent years to escape persecution from Chinese authorities who have banned some of their cultural and religious traditions.

In October 2001, a group of Uighurs seeking refuge in Afghanistan and Pakistan, faced a new and unexpected misfortune. Their quest for a better life ended in incarceration.

In reaction to the 9/11 attacks, the United States started a military intervention in Afghanistan to find Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda fighters, and the local population was encouraged to report and hand over terrorists in exchange for large sums of cash.

Twenty-two Uighur men were captured and sold as "terrorists" to the US. They were transported to Guantanamo Bay, the notorious US military prison, where they were imprisoned for many years, initially without any form of judicial process, and were later proved innocent.

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