15 Jun 2010

Palau Uighurs want to settle in Australia

10:37 am on 15 June 2010

A group of former Guantanamo detainees from a Chinese Muslim ethnic minority want to settle in Australia following temporary refuge in Palau.

One of six Uighur men in Palau, Adel Noori, says they are asking President Johnson Toribiong to help them leave.

The Uighurs were transferred to Koror, the capital of Palau, last November after more than seven years in detention at Guantanamo Bay.

One of the men recently married a Uighur woman who had been living with her two children in Australia, where her previous husband drowned.

Another last week married a Uighur woman who travelled to Palau for the wedding.

Asked if getting married to women living in other countries was a way for the men to find new permanent homes, Mr Noori says they would still want to leave even if they don't marry.

He says they need a country that will give them passports.

Mr Toribiong has asked the Australian government to take the six men, saying Palau is a stepping stone to a country where they can live freely.