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China Denounces U.S. For Sending Uyghurs To Slovakia

Uyghur activists protest against the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao outside the White House in Washington, D.C., in 2011.
China has criticized a U.S. decision to send three Uyghur detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center to Slovakia.

The Foreign Ministry said on January 2 that Beijing had sought the repatriation of the Uyghur men, as they posed threats to the security of China and Slovakia.

"They are genuine terrorists. They not only threaten China's security, they will threaten the security of the country that receives them," ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a news conference on January 2 in Beijing.

"China hopes that the relevant country honors its international obligations, does not give asylum to terrorists, and sends them back to China as soon as possible."

The United States announced earlier this week that the three will be released and sent to Slovakia.

The Slovak Interior Ministry has confirmed their transfer.

The Uyghurs are a Muslim ethnic group whose traditional homeland is the Xinjiang region of western China.

According to the Pentagon, the three Uyghurs are the last of 22 Muslim-minority Chinese nationals to be moved from the Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba.

The three Uyghurs were detained in Afghanistan in 2001.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP