CHINA / National

Repatriation of five Chinese terror suspects urged
Updated: 2006-05-09 15:10

The five Chinese who were seeking asylum in Albania could not be regarded as refugees, they were terror suspects and should be repatriated to China immediately, Chinese Ambassador to Albania Tian Changchun said.

The five Chinese from the Xinjiang Autonomous Region in the northwest of China were members of the terrorist organization "East Turkistan" that had been seeking Xinjiang's separation from China, Tian said in a press release on Monday.

"They fought on the side of Taliban during the Afghan war, and this single fact can prove that they are nothing else but terror suspects," he said.

"East Turkistan," upon which the UN Security Council had imposed sanctions, was part of the international terrorist network and had close relations with terrorist groups such as al-Qaida, the ambassador said.

He said according to international laws, the five terror suspects should be repatriated to China, and China hoped that Albania would give them up as quickly as possible.

According to reports, the five Chinese were dumped into Albania for settlement by the United States last Friday. They were captured by U.S. troops in 2001 in Pakistan and imprisoned at the U.S. military camp in Guantanamo Bay ever since.

The United States had asked about 20 countries to offer settlements to the detainees. But countries such as Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Turkey had turned town the request.