The BBC has just put up a story on Adel Hakimjan, a.k.a. Adel (Adil) Abdul Hakim or Adel Abdulhehim, one of the five Uyghur detainees in Guantanamo initially taken in by Albania. Adel, 34, describes his journey from Xinjiang, through Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and Albania, to Sweden, where he arrived to give a lecture in November 2007. This June 2008, he was denied asylum by Sweden’s Migration Board and was meant to have been deported, but has since remained there with his sister.
In the article, Adel recounts his interrogation by Chinese personnel brought into Guantanamo, probably as part of a deal to gain a Chinese UN Security Council vote in favor of the Iraq War. The accounts squares with what he have heard before.
Adel Hakimjan’s lawyer, Sten de Geer, argues that Albania is an inappropriate country for his asylum, as he did not himself choose Albania, but rather was sent there. One wonders, if de Geer’s argument prevails, what the implications for the other Uyghurs in Albania might be. Could an organization in, for example, Canada invite one for a talk, then assist him in seeking refugee status there? The Uyghur men left in Albania are in no apparent danger, but they risk spending their lives in limbo, in continued detention. Is this enough to grant asylum?