31 May 2009

Obama asks Australia to take Guantanamo detainees

4:56 am on 31 May 2009

The United States has made a new request for Australia to accept a group of detainees from Guantanamo Bay for resettlement.

The request is the first by President Barack Obama's administration, which plans to close down the detention camp in Cuba within the next year.

Media reports said the request involves a group of Uighurs from China's largely Muslim western province of Xinjiang.

Beijing has reportedly been pressing Washington to return them to China, but US officials have expressed concerns about their likely treatment there.

Opposition leader Malcom Turnbull says Australia should reject the request because former Guantanamo prisoners have been known to become terrorists.