UYGHURS: PRISONERS OF THE ABSURD
In the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang live the Uyghur, an Islamic people of Turkish origin. Since the area was incorporated into China, they have become a persecuted minority in their own country. In October 2001, a group of Uyghurs, who had tried to find sanctuary in Afghanistan, faced a new and unexpected misfortune. The U.S. was attacking the country at the time in efforts to find Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda fighters, and the local population was being encouraged to report terrorists in exchange for cash. More than 20 Uyghur men were delivered into the hands of the Americans in this way. The refugees were transported to Guantanamo Bay, where they were imprisoned for many years, initially without any form of judicial process, and later proven innocent. For many years their freedom was obstructed by all manner of international political issues and interests. How could this have happened? Three of them speak openly about the years of hell they went through as refugees, and about their frustrating and tragic time being locked up. Their deeply shocking account is complemented by news footage on the affair and interviews with others involved, including the interpreter at Guantanamo, their passionate lawyer, and a judge who took a personal interest in the fate of these prisoners.