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Diplomatic memos reveal Chinese effort to block Guantánamo prisoner's asylum bid

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The memos detail contacts between the Chinese Embassy and Sweden's Foreign Office, and highlight escalating Chinese pressure involving the potentially precedent setting case of Mr. Hakimjan, a Uighur merchant. Hakimjan's Stockholm attorney, Sten De Geer, recently obtained the documents under Swedish freedom of information law.

China's impatience with Hakimjan's asylum bid was obvious in the memos. "The Chinese Embassy in Stockholm has, a number of times, contacted the [Swedish] Foreign Office, both in this case and also referring to the more general question if Sweden is going to receive any Uighurs when the camp at Guantánamo is going to be closed," wrote the Foreign Office's China desk director in one of the documents.

Hakimjan, who was captured by a bounty hunter in Pakistan in 2001, was released from Guantánamo in 2006 and now lives in Sweden. A court there upheld his bid for political asylum in April.

Germany is now considering a US request that it accept nine of Guantánamo's Uighurs. Seven others are being considered for resettlement in the US.

China wants Uighurs returned for trial

Although the Uighurs have been cleared of wrongdoing, China views them as domestic terrorists and wants to see them returned for trial.

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