Kenney thinks of providing special visas to Guantanamo detainees
Immigration minister Jason Kenney is thinking over the possibility of accepting several Chinese Muslims who are held at the Guantanamo Bay, without setting a pattern for other detainees held at the US military camp who might be interested in living in Canada.
Canwest News Service has learned that among other things, Kenney is thinking of issuing special ministerial permits to the three Uyghurs who have recently applied to settle in Canada with the support of Canadian sponsors.
The temporary residence permits, which are used very rarely, are valid for a period of up to three years and will allow the detainees to avoid the backlogged refugee process of Canada.
According to human-right activists, Kenney, who meets the members of the Uyghur community of Canada on a regular basis, seems to be sympathetic to the seventeen people who remain in prison in Cuba in spite of being cleared of posing a terrorist threat to the US.
Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees, said that Jason Kenney is quite sympathetic for the Uyghurs.
In every few months, Kenney meets Mehmet Tohti, of the Uyghur Canadian Society in Toronto and they discussed in late January of accepting a few Guantanamo detainees following the order of Barack Obama to close the prison.
Tohti said that he hopes that the issue will be discussed when Obama visits Canada on the 19th of February to meet the Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper.
A federal judge of the US ordered last fall that the Guantanamo Uyghurs be released, but no country has come forward to take in these detainees.