Lawyer: Uighurs Should Receive Bermuda Status

January 21, 2013

Lawyer Richard Horseman has written a letter to Premier Craig Cannonier suggesting that the Bermuda Government pass legislation that will grant the Uighurs, their spouses and children Bermuda status.

The four men were released from the US detention centre at Guantanamo and resettled in Bermuda 2009.  Controversy erupted after former Premier Dr. Ewart Brown’s decision to accept the Uighurs without first consulting Cabinet or Government House.

The letter from Mr Horseman said the four men were told that after one year in Bermuda, they would obtain citizenship and have passports.

“When that didn’t happen, Dr. Ewart Brown assured the men, that once he vacated his office, they would be fine and they would then receive passports. That didn’t happen,” said Mr Horseman.

“The Uighurs were airlifted to Bermuda under the cover of darkness riding on a wing of promises that could never be kept. Indeed it was Colonel Burch himself who traveled to Cuba and met the Uighurs in Guantanamo Bay. The Colonel reassured the men that they would be free and everything would work out.:

Mr Horseman said that after nearly four years, the men “remain in limbo” and the “authors of their misfortune have now vanished into thin air. The men are left to fend for themselves. Premier, the time has now come to right this wrong.”

“Premier, we are asking you to lead the way and take the necessary steps to grant the Uighurs Bermuda status. This of course cannot likely be achieved without the support and cooperation of the United Kingdom, but we have to try.”

Mr Horseman’s full letter follows below:

I write to you on behalf of the Uighurs who have now been in Bermuda for nearly four years.

When they were first taken out of their prison cells in Guantanamo Bay and advised that they were going to be transferred to Bermuda, the men were assured that they would be free men.

They were told that if they got on the plane waiting on the tarmac to take them to Bermuda, after one year in Bermuda, they would obtain citizenship and have passports. That never came to pass.

When that didn’t happen, Dr. Ewart Brown assured the men, that once he vacated his office, they would be fine and they would then receive passports. That didn’t happen.

The Uighurs were airlifted to Bermuda under the cover of darkness riding on a wing of promises that could never be kept. Indeed it was Colonel Burch himself who traveled to Cuba and met the Uighurs in Guantanamo Bay. The Colonel reassured the men that they would be free and everything would work out.

Relying on these assurances Abdulla, Ablikim, Khalil and Salahidin made a leap of faith and boarded the plane to Bermuda. Only Abdullah had ever heard of the word “Bermuda” before. He had heard of the Triangle and only knew it as place where people disappear.

The men, desperate to marry, each found love and marriage and something they deeply needed, a family. Each of the men now either has a child or is expecting a child. They are grateful for having been granted the opportunity to be wed and have children.

Premier, after nearly four years, the men remain in limbo. They are stuck in the Bermuda Triangle. The authors of their misfortune have now vanished into thin air. The men are left to fend for themselves. Premier, the time has now come to right this wrong.

I believe that the appropriate solution is for the Bermuda Government to pass legislation that will grant the Uighurs, their spouse and children Bermuda status. I believe that we can work together now with Great Britain and solve this crisis.

There are children’s lives at stake and we owe it to these men not to tuck them away in some corner and hope it all goes away; hope that they will be lost in the Triangle.

Premier it will take bold action and cooperation with the United Kingdom with a new pledge to honour our commitments under our Constitution in order to forge a solution to this humanitarian crisis.

The people of Bermuda have showed the Uighurs compassion, respect and offers of help have come from all corners of our country and from all walks of life. Bermuda once again has demonstrated that we have some of the most benevolent caring citizens of any country.

The men wish to convey their gratitude to the people of Bermuda. They have been welcomed into Bermuda and they know how good the Bermudian people are. They ask God to bless all of Bermuda and its people.

Premier, we are asking you to lead the way and take the necessary steps to grant the Uighurs Bermuda status. This of course cannot likely be achieved without the support and cooperation of the United Kingdom, but we have to try.

I believe that this newly elected Government can seize the initiative and fulfill the broken promises made to the Uighurs and give them what they were promised, true freedom.

I believe that there presently exists a window of opportunity to approach and work with Government House With the cooperation of the United Kingdom, the solution is close at hand. It will take courage and strength to move forward. The men ask God to bless you, guide you and give you that strength to take action on their behalf.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Richard Horseman Counsel for the Uighurs

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Comments (101)

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  1. Bermydude says:

    Status??? How about all the Portugueses, Fillipino’s and other nationalities that had to leave Bermuda, because they didn’t make PRC or status??

    This Laywer must be going crazy!! No Bermudian asked to bring theses people here, so send them back to the USA so they can deal with this!!

    Brown is one bad b……. !!!

    • frank says:

      these guys do not get any bermuda passports put them on a plane and send them back to the us they the united states problem they need to get the hell out and under what rules are the wives here

      • Clive Spate says:

        They are our problem as the Premier of the time accepted them.

        Unless the circumstances surrounding this are revealed it will be difficult to do anything other than accept the fact they are here.

        Did the US pay money to Bermuda to accept them? If so, then it’s very much up to Bermuda. If the US were to take them back, I’m sure any money would have to go back too.

        It is a disgrace that they are basically stateless and are stuck here and that very few posters on here have any compassion or sympathy for the situation they are in that they didn’t choose.

        • Be Quiet says:

          It’s not about sympathy and compassion…there have been expats living here for over 20 years plus who are still denied citizenship and these Uighurs have not even been living here for 10. And just because they’re ‘stateless’ they should be granted status? Just plain unfair. If they want status, they should go through all the correct procedures like every other expat. Plain and simple.

          • Clive Spate says:

            Expats have a citizenship somewhere.

            These don’t.

            • Be Quiet says:

              Well that’s not Bermuda’s problem. What has happened to these men in their lives should not influence Bermuda’s laws; no exceptions or ‘special’ circumstances. They’re not exempt from the law – or maybe that’s how they wound up in the Bay in the first place…

            • almostthere. says:

              @Clive Spate—-you appear to have confused loyalty to a group of men that do have status elsewhere but are afraid of consequesnces if they return, however they were planning to return to their country under their circumstances..If a child is misbehaving and goes to live somewhere else as a result of fear or reprisal from home would you agree that they don’t have anywhere else to go? Or would you suggest that family work it out? think about it, you don’t know these men don’t pretend to care about a situation you ahve little knowledge of. I remember when they came they bragged about opening a resturant and doing anything to enhance Bermuda, they were toured around the island, given jobs, asked for wives and were given wives, they now have children and they are crying again… I’ve been asking for my freedom for decades and seems like there is a hearing impediment..Bermuda is no place for everyone and we did not have rehabilitation for these guys who were locked up.. Look what happens to our young men with the revolving prison doors, they re on probation, curfews, ankle bracelets, what about these men? They have had no assessments locally to verify their mental conditions and we certainly don’t have the capacity especially when they are so secretive about where they were and what they endured and why?Lots of Bermudians are without shelter, electricity,jobs, a spouse,children and some people have few family members and are left alone for periods of time especially the elderly, maybe you can channel that compassion towards suffering Bermudians.

  2. really says:

    Can I have citizenship and a passport too?

    • Clive Spate says:

      I’m pretty sure you have a citizenship and passport.

      Just not for Bermuda I take it!

  3. Choir Boy (Original) says:

    Dr Brown and Burch should be charged with illegally transporting foreigners to our island. Warrants should be issued for their immediate arrest. The Ugrs should then be deported back to the USA. Perhaps Dr B can take them in on MV – on humanitarian ground. Of course if you believe Dr B would do anything for nothing (now or then) then you belong in MAWI.

  4. fox_gap_2 says:

    ….heading should read….”should NOT receive Bermuda Status”…

  5. mike says:

    NO, NO, NO, NO!! IF this current Government give these people status I most definitely will not be voting for them again!!

  6. Um Um Like says:

    In exchange for the Uighurs receiving Bermudian status, those responsible for bringing them here should renounce their status.

  7. funny bone says:

    Well Well Well………………..the legacy of Ewart Brown still lingers.

    Ewart Brown should be held accountable for treason on the Deception he carried out on the Bermuda people.

    We as Bermudians should have never allowed this to take place, as it should play on Bermudians minds as to what motive Ewart had in bringing the Uighurs to our Island without first getting permision from the Bermuda public.

    Mr. Horseman it should be interesting as to how this will all pan out………….stay tuned.

    • Islander says:

      E Brown was on Hott 1075 last night – of course, he didn’t know, he didn’t do and he never had

      • navin johnson says:

        did he mention when the Park Hyatt would be built?

  8. James says:

    As bad as I feel for these people, the question of Bermuda status for this folk is a none point. Too many people that have come here, started families, injected hard earned money into the community and have sowed oats here have been made to leave. It’s not fair on any of the parties involved but unfortunately this was a deal made between our previous government and the US not the people of Bermuda!

  9. Really? says:

    SEND THEM PACKING… Dont give to S**ts. So many of the BRITISH people i know have been kicked of this island made to sever all ties with friends and work colleagues. Maybe Mr. Brown should take them in as his private gardeners. I mean he was the Humanitarian who brought them here. Going to go ApeS**t if this happens…

  10. What is going on? says:

    You must be kidding…. Dr. Ewart Brown and Col. Burch are resposible for this situation.
    I am 4th generation Bermudian and because my son was born in Canada and I didn’t register him before his 21st birthday, I am unable to get him Bermudian status… and you are suggesting that you just give these four men, their wives and all their children status….. I think NOT.

    • Really? says:

      You had 21 years to sort out your son’s citizenship. Our daughter was born in the UK and the minute we stepped on Bermuda soil, we went to Immigration to have her registered. Your son not having status is due to your negligence.

      These men cannot continue to live void of citizenship. It is very unfortunate the way they were brought here; through no fault of their own. I think the humanitarian thing to do would be to offer them citizenship.

      We will be cleaning up PLP’s mess for a very long time. Remember the phrase, “We had to deceive you”?

      • cant fool me says:

        F#$% them guys they shud b happy dat they have jobs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Go back china n free up that Job u hold for a Bermudian

      • Really, really. Even though u might have compassion for these Uighurs, we don’t change the rule to suffice Dr. Brown blatant n utmust disrespect for not only the people of Bermuda but towards the Crown of Her Majesty. As u had read many blogs concerning those that gave their blood, sweat n tears, not to mention mental abuse after 20 to 30 years of honest service to these islands. And I m more than sure that like most citizen n status Bermudians, have a derogatory remark in regards to all the illegal stuff that man has done. Don’t be me, look at the Uighurs. This man not only left P. L. P in limbo but left them like he left the Uighurs. And neither he or Colonel Burch can tell the people of Bermuda that there was no renumeration for thee 4 Uighurs. Every one that gave other Uighurs or GB prisoners MONEY for that transaction. So I suggest that they be delivered at night to Pampas road, drive or estate. This problem has NOTHING to do with the OBA. PLP had ample time to give or send and they chose to do neither. Never even heard them address the issue. But one thing I kbow, not one Bermudian can enter any place in the world under false pretences as it is against the law n subject to some sort of penalty. Some times in life, one gets dealt a bad hand, but yet the winner takes all. Once u lose, it is game set match. From get go, there was something definitely wrong n it stunk like a skunk. The smell may stay, but they gotta go. They got a 6 for a 9 n Ewart brown reminds me of Thelma n Louise. Sorry OBA DON’T get invovled n don’t let the guilt trip pan out. Consult the UK first.

      • almostthere. says:

        @really—-Really !!!!!do you know UBP sh### still ain’t cleaned up..First of all the UBP only formed because the PLP formed first, secondly during their first fourteen years there was so much sh### to clean up British troops were brought in! several commisiions were held, segregation was fought for by blacks, and if it wasn’t for the BIU we would still be getting slave wages!!!Britian owes us status and much more that we have yet to receive, so when it comes to deceiving I think most people in Bermuda have been living under UK deception for centuries remember what Winston Churchill once said” history will be kind to Britian, because I will write it”!

  11. Garry Marshall says:

    Absolutely NO, What about all the people that were Born here that cant and will NOT get Status or working permission and were made to leave the Island, and all the people that were made to leave even though they were worked and promoted to the Island for so long.
    Ewart can take them to the Caribbean where he has his place and give them jobs and status.
    Absolutely NO NO NO NO

  12. Argosy says:

    Who is paying Horseman’s legal fees?

    • ABC says:

      @ Arogosy so well said but can mr. horsemen explain 2 de plubic /?????

      de walls dont lie so

      explain 2 de people <—————–

  13. More Confused says:

    As a lawyer, Richard Horseman should know that the Bermuda Government cannot grant status to these men. There is no legal means to do so so stop trying the “blackmail” approach of children’s lives at risk. The UK would have to first grant them status as a UK Citizen, or Overseas Dependent Citizen. There is no way this will happen.
    Leave the Bermuda status issue and work on the US Government to grant them status. The US caused this problem in the first place and should do the right thing. There are many Uighur communities in the US and it would be the humanitarian thing to do.

    • Kathy says:

      Agreed! There is no legal basis for Bermuda status. Besides, there are too many people still waiting in line for status (legally) and these men should be pushed ahead of them….NO WAY! It is insane to even propose such a thing. If anything, they should be sent on the first cruise ship to the US and let them deal with giving them US citizenship. The UK won’t stand for it!

  14. Many years ago Bermuda took in people who we considered to be boat people and people were up in arms about them being allowed to come and some were very sympathetic to their plight.

    We as a country knew nothing of the plan that Dr Ewart Brown and others had to bring these people here,we as Bermudian for the most part felt very betrayed by those who governed us at that time.

    Needless to say the same people that came years ago as so called boat people,actually became very productive citezens of this country and stil are to this day,so we may not agree with how the Uighurs got here but we better take stock of ourselves before casting judgement upon them.

    The United States of America ask for our help from our former leader and the agreement was made that this country would step in,so now that they are here I find it very un-humanitary to displace these people again after the ordeal they have already lived.

    I think the real agreement that should be reached is that The United States of America look into the fact that there are far to many Bermudians that are on a so called stop list but to be politically correct,it is having to apply for a waiver of inelligebilty.

    The Bermudians that I feel should be considered to be removed off of this list,is the Bermudians who have past criminal records for things that are considered to be a mister meaner in The United States,along with people who have not had a criminal record for more then 30 years based on the three Tier system.

    So I am in favor of letting thes people have citexenship here but with the agreement that the U.S would look at the options I listed above as a one off situation.the thing tat I also think needs to be made clear if the U.S does not look at this as an option,I think the Bermuda Government from the Premiers office (Mr Cannonier) needs to reveal to the public what in fact was the agreement and what did Bermuda get in return for taking these people.

    • Come Correct says:

      Who’s this Mister Meaner you keep going on about?…lol sorry i couldnt help it.

      I think you make an interesting suggestion though, I never would have thought of it. It’s extremely unfair that people have to apply to go to the US and risk being denied (I know someone who planned a family vacation only to be denied after being approved every time before) just as it’s extremely unfair that all these promises were made to these men only to be stuck in a constant back and forth all these years. The only thing is, if we give them citizenship, you know its going to open a can of worms with all the people that spent their lives growing up here only to be denied citizenship. Other than that i like your idea. I’d also be interested to find out what sort of deal was made by taking these men in, not that it should affect them now, but I heard it wasn’t just money…but it is Bermuda.

    • Y-Gurl says:

      Terrorism suspect or acts can hardly be termed as a misdemeanors and I would imagine their criminal record would be in great shape as It would be assumed it would be rather difficult to perform or conspire terrorism acts when detained at Guantanamo Bay.

    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      Duane…it is a done deal…there is NO going back to negotiate ANYTHING ,concerning these fellows, let alone the stop list situation. Would YOU take them back once YOU had gotten rid of them..? If your answer is YES…then why send them anywhere at all just let them work and live freely here. Maybe after 20 yrs of a clean and productive life
      then issue passports.

    • Mr. Happy says:

      What the hell is a “mister meaner”??????

    • almostthere. says:

      @Duane Santucci——and who exactly do you think should broker the deal..Britian has already taen in Uighers and they do not take orders from the U.S. Bermuda has no power to give them status whether you are in favor or not. Think about the political freefall from all of this..It would then appear that America is dictating to Britian,not only dictating but forcibly removing their choice and this is not good for relations between the two ountries. read galations Santucci, do not be deceived this situation is far from humanitarian and these men are not as innocent as we think. This was a back room deal not a humanitarian act, which would involve some consciousness about dumping people anywhere in the world.Bermuda as has been stated numerous times did not receive a penny for this transaction nor consideration. It would imply that we had the power to negotiate which we didn’t. The deal was made with the Supreme Court just like Bush was Selected! Underhanded does not equate humanitarianism. By the way the persons that made the deal in the US are no longer employed where they were then either.

  15. Given says:

    This is a good one!

  16. never neverland says:

    Let’s go back to the beginning. Just why were these Uighers all the way from their homeland of Xinjiang, China when they were picked up in Afghanistan? It is not exactly on a bus route. No doubt they were there to seek out training in Iran or Afghanistan in order to return to China to assist with the stir up of civil unrest which had already commenced there and continues to this day.

    The USA kept them in Guantanamo for good reason but then, as public opinion was forcing the closure of the base, they needed to let them go. For reasons that hopefully we, the people, will learn one day, Bermuda took them. But as for giving them status….NEVER! In a few years China will be the superpower of the world. China never forgets the past and they will never forget that Bermuda gave the Uighers refuge. It will be a political nightmare for the future .

    Right now this country needs to house, feed and educate its own citizens and not foreign dissidents from Xiajiang. The Uighers have now multiplied….it is not just four as some have wives and children when Bermuda is in the middle of an economic crisis not able to look after its own people.

    Lawyer Horseman please use your skills to find a way to transfer these people out of Bermuda
    It should be the USA’s problem to solve and not that of Britain or Bermuda. As for status, NEVER!

  17. Micro says:

    Ha. Lol.

  18. ABC says:

    A F$%^%$ JOKE WHAT BOUT DE PORTUGUESE

    I SWEAR DEM GET STATUS AND NOT DE UNKNOW ILL — DE DE WHOLE SYSTEM FOR CORRUPTIONS

    MAKE MY DAY U —-

    BORN AND BREED HERE …………………………

    D::( D-::-( :-@ ;( `_´ D<

    I DOUBLE DARE U 2 GIVE DEM STATUS

  19. ABC says:

    ULL OPEN UP A CAN OF WORMS TRUST ME ///

    ಠ⌣ಠ ಠ‿ಠ

    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    MAKE MY DAY

    totally unfair for others

  20. Bobmarlin says:

    More mess to clean up after the PLP.

  21. swing voter says:

    This is one PLP mess that the new Govt. should continue to ignore. I still need a 2nd job to survive a-la pre 1998

  22. Y-Gurl says:

    We have a lot of hard working ( non suspected terrorists) in Bermuda who are fighting for this, to give it away to these people is an insult to everyone, I’m not blaming the Uighurs but send them back and let the US go after the money “Bermuda” was paid. We can’t even figure out how to help our own people in this Counntry

    • Clive Spate says:

      Everyone in an airport is a suspected terrorist. That’s why we have to go through security.

      If they were terrorists they would not have been released.

      I agree that the USA were at fault but they paid for it!!

      Now it’s our problem. They are humans and have rights (to a family, a citizenship etc.). Unless the USA can be persuaded to take them back (which I doubt) some compassion is needed for them.

      Some of the uncaring and intolerant attitudes on here make me ashamed!

      • almostthere. says:

        @Clive Spate—–I am ashamed that you don’t realize the airport checkpoints was just the spinoff from 911 which boils down to control of the masses by a few who actually orchestrated the 911 events and aftermath out of greed for Oil, Money and COntrol..Please arise from our slumber..Too much caring is blinding you to facts.

    • Just Wondering says:

      While I agree with you and the others that have voiced their concern i have to ask….. What money? As i recall, and i stand to be corrected, Bermuda received ‘nothing’ for taking them in.

      • Y-Gurl says:

        You are right Bermuda didn’t get money, however every other country that took detainees were paid millions as an incentive it’s beyond even the widest imagination that no money went to someone and hopefully that’ll come out as they dig deeper into where all the money went

        • Just Wondering says:

          One can hope that we see some money but I have a feeling that at some one got something back that he had to give up

  23. ABC says:

    dr brown ur last chance trust me

    U GIVE DEM DE STATUS U R RUIN TRUST ME

    FOR A GUY MDAT DOWN SO WRONG COME FACE DE TRUTH HUH U GOT ME MAD NOW

    ILL POST DE BERMUDA CABLE LINKS

    AND NOW 2 BE CONTINUED

  24. Bobmarlin says:

    More mess to clean up after the PLP.
    Send them to the USA.They dumped them on us,with Brown’s approval. We do not need trained terrorists in Bermuda,we have enough problems without having to worry about them.

  25. freeupdeherb says:

    @ Duane P. Santucci it’s misdemeanor not mister meaner.

    lmao

  26. Really? says:

    This is so unjust.

  27. Bermudian says:

    No, send them to the US. They could bunk up with good ole Ewart at Martha’s Vineyard.

  28. Ringmaster says:

    One issue that hasn’t been commented on is how are these men married, and some with children? How did their now wives obtain permission to arrive in Bermuda and stay? How did they meet? Surely these are nothing more than marriages of convenvience, something Lt Col Burch was adamant should be stopped. What citizenship do their wives hold and why can’t they take that? Do their wives work?
    Originally there were 4 Uighurs wanting status, but how many people now? By marrying I believe they have made their situation worse than it was. Now over to the USA to sort out.

  29. cant fool me says:

    BERMUDA FOR BERMUDIANS !!!!!!!!!!! IF U AINT BORN HERE U GET NOTHING,EVEN IF U ARE IF UR NOT BERMIDIAN P!SS OFF, ENUFFS ENUFF those dudes have had special treatment since they got here jobs upon jobs trans n housing might as well hav em on a PERMIT!!!!!!IIF I LEFT BERMUDA WOULD A NEXT COUNTRY TAKE CARE OF ME LIKE THIS???????HELL TO THE NO, ESPECIALLY AMERICA!!!!

    • Y-Gurl says:

      Lots of Bermudians are getting well taken care of while living in the UK courtesy of the UK Goverment and taxpayers or didn’t you get that memo

      • Free says:

        But we have that right!! They granted us that right! Why should Bermudians not take advantage of it? Do you see what our passports say?

        • Y-Gurl says:

          I’m not reading my passport I’m reading comments, can’t fool me’s badly composed comment asks the question would a country take care of him…….my answer is above

          • Free says:

            lol You’re funny. I know what you were answering to and that was my answer to you. I’m sure “cant fool me” knows that about the UK, if not then that’s….um, surprising. Based on their badly composed comment though-maybe not.

    • theothersidebda says:

      Bermudians need not be ‘born here’ to be Bermudian.

  30. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    decipher this!…wen ya got money, and the military is ur friend, how YOU gonna beat dat..?? interested in hearing.

    • Come Correct says:

      You don’t. Abiding by the laws of the land no matter how unjust is driven into the minds of the general public on a daily basis. The only way to combat this is by educating and the inception of civil disobediance into ordinary citizens. The only problem is if you’re successful, you’ll end up with a bullet in your head from a person that “doesn’t exist”. How else do you maintain control over a nation? History can tell you that, and all you have to do is look at the last century.

  31. bermuda boy says:

    No to status, send them to USA or home to china!!

  32. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!.. TO STATUS!!….if anything humanitarian ,give them work permits…they dont need passports!…some people were born raised and never left this rock. Yes this Govt. has a Task infront of them, maybe we should bring in a Disaster Clean Up crew from Abroad…Should make Mr. E.Brown & D.Burch their guardians, Make them responsible…he really thought he was Barak Obama, with all of these executive orders which need no one but his approval, he did it for himself , not Bda. i’m outta here!!

  33. hmmm says:

    Even if they were to get status it wouldnt matter they will never really be able to travel anywhere outside Bermuda. Maybe only back to their own country were they were born.
    Now having said that I agree with the majority of the comments here they shouldnt get status. And who is Mr. Horseman why is he pushing for this he should know matter, he can help them with other alternatives but status is a bit much.
    This was a EB decision not a bermuda decision that the people voted in, he fought for this no matter what the circumstances but didnt fight for a task for in Bermuda, as soon as he heard no to a task force that was it, he didnt fight for it. So there you have it

  34. hmmm says:

    ** I meant to say Mr. Horseman should know better.

  35. Bermudians/ PRC rights says:

    How can you give Bermuda Status not only to these men but their family. You have people whose children were born here, raised here, they pay their taxes but don’t have the right to be BermudIan. My parents have been in this country since they were 14 and all they have is PRC. In other words they don’t have the right to purchased land or vote in a country that they spent practically their entire life. The place they call home and contribute to the community but yet this lawyer wants to fight for people who were brought here under very suspicious circumstances and ask for them to have the right to vote and own land in a country which they are still learning about. Why should they be given special treatment to be given status? How is this lawyer getting paid to even represent them? No one else does and they don’t fit under any criteria to be able to even apply for status. OBA better not make us regret voting them in. They need to prove that they are here for Bermudians. I say give them a 3 year permit with the stipulation that they cannot bring their families to the island the same way all Portuguese work permit holders have on their contract. During this time figure out a way for the US to take them back. They took them and locked them up why should we have to deal with their mess. Somebody’s pockets was the one that got lined with this deal not Bermuda. I say send them back to the US and don’t give no bull about they have no passport. The same way they came here with no passport send them back to the US with no passport. OBA LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE AND DO THE RIGHT THING!

  36. Judge Dredd says:

    What an absolute bunch of f#hckin conceited f#hckin snobs you bunch are. Think for a second how you look to an international community! President Obama asked a helping hand from a neighbour and you fools are showing your @$$£$. The United States is our ally and a very damn good ally to have and you pretend like that means nothing because we are so independent out here on our little island right? What ever happened to hospitality and a spirit of humanity? Here are men who were cleared of any guilt and the US saw fit to protect them. These are men who were ripped away from their families and home country where they fled oppression and you all are comparing that to other status issues. This looks really bad for us on the global scene and you are on the wrong side of history. You snobs don’t deserve a morsel on your golden plates. I can see why our country is headed where it is. We are not willing to share with anyone. F#hck you snobs. God don’t sleep.

    • Free says:

      You think Obama thinks about this situation or even cares? Surely he has more important things to do. Yes they fled oppression and left their families behind. Seem like cowards to me. Global scale? NO ONE CARES! Guess what else? Americans would have said the same thing! They too do not like foreigners moving to their country! They were glad Bermuda took them off of their hands and unlike Bermuda they actually have the space and resources to be granting status to people.

    • Pure Madness!!!!! says:

      In my opinion it’s not about being snobbish, not having hospitality or humanity. It’s about what should be morally right, here you have thousand of people (like other posters have said) that have been born in this country, lived in this country for many many years and cannot work or have status, who are stateless. So if anything these issues should be addressed FIRST. A young lady was in the news last year for a similar situation, has that been rectifed, probably not…. Fix home first, other’s mess after..

    • navin johnson says:

      wonder if President Obama actually asked for a helping hand or Brown and Burch stumbled all over themselves to volunteer a helping hand……if the President of the United States asked for a helping hand would it have been done under cover of darkness and in secret?

    • almostthere. says:

      @Judge Dredd—you are not discerning enough to judge..F@(C U!!!We don’t now if the religious persecution they were fighting was severe enough for them to flee to the Paksitan border to weapon train? America is the beast, it doesn give 2 sh$$ts about u!nor anyone else. They were not afforded a trial they were simply let go because time was up and pressure on to close guantanomo bay which was similar to slavery which is supposed to be abolished. Bermuda is more oppressive than were they were, they obviously are afraid to go home because of their actions. There are other people that can come and go from their country obviously! Why can’t they?? P!ss off!!!God sleeps everynight!Do you know anyone that keeps their eyes open 24/7 244hole!

  37. Free says:

    No they do not! Do any of them care about their families they left behind? No they just brought in new wives and started new families. Disgusting. If they don’t care how their own families are fending then I don’t care how they are fending. Besides their are plenty of people who deserve it more! Ship them back to American and let them deal with it, it was their problem to begin with.

  38. Paget says:

    do not give them status. get them out of here! I have friends that have been born here,( to Jamaican parents who have status) went to school here, and they could never receive Bermuda status. …….no one told them to bring them here. sorry for them. …..you are going to cause a rockers here in BERMUDA!

  39. Paget says:

    no status!

  40. O'Brien says:

    To all the xenophobes – they don’t want citizenship so they can stay on the rock forever and ever. They want passports so they can leave (and who can blame them?). But since the UK will never grant them citizenship for fear of offending China, it’s a complete non-starter.

    In an ideal world, the Americans – who captured these men and flew them to the other side of the world without ever charging them with anything – would take responsibility for this injustice by allowing them to live and work in the U.S. where there are sizeable Uighur communities. However, Congress will never allow ex-gitmo prisoners to set foot on US soil so you can say goodbye to that as well.

    In short, they are stuck here. And they have Brown’s naivety (stupidity if you prefer) to thank for it.

  41. you"re kidding me... says:

    Noooo…Status…you better not.
    Horseman..what about all those children born here , raised here , and at the age of 14…16…10.had to go to where their parents came from , not knowing the culture full well ,the language and evrything else, where on hearth where you when this was going on?no feelings for these children what so ever,,and now with a new party in place for four weeks , and you come up with this stupid idea…whats in the kitty for you ?

  42. Really 2 says:

    NO Status.. there are many that have to reach the specified time before they can apply for Bermuda Status. It is not fair to them. What about Bermudians who are married to Non-Bermudians waiting to get their status? 7 years!!!

  43. foldgers says:

    As I can recall, and after re reading, the Uighurs were not forced out of their country but fled leaving their families behind. They left behind that family and went searching for a better place and somehow that better place was by chance in training ground .. hmm But i digress from the point i want to make. Mr. Brown wants us to believe that his heart was soooo moved by their plight that he just had to call.. All I am saying is. .. we all watch the television.. read papers.. we see the stories.. you know, the ones about all the starving children all over the world . yet four grown hairy men,, moved him, more than the sweet innocent faces of the many starving children that just got maybe a flick of the channel or the turn of a page. No they should not have status. Yes for the sake of many who are married to foreign spouses who were given a hard time, the question begs to be asked.. under what legislation were the wives allowed to come hair, why do they have the right to have children in a country that is not theirs. Why dont they go back to their country? Read up about it .. they might face prosecution which they will tell you is persecution. but their leader and many followers are presently locked up.. so are the families they left behind.. these men are not chivalrous and their circumstances are an unfair burden given to Bermudians at a time we need to give our time to healing ourselves and building up our own , instead of being distracted by this situation. Britain has spoken.. these men will not get status.. that ir the right thing to do

  44. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    Send DREB to China in the hopes of brokering a deal to repatriate these pawns back to their homeland .

  45. foldgers says:

    SORRY.. I meant were the wives allowed here,,

  46. Cowpolly says:

    Its unfortunate that these men were caught in the middle of a Ewart Brown confrontation with the UK Government. Ewart wasn’t naive enough to think that he could grant them citizenship or that bringing these gentlemen to the island was an ‘internal governmental decision’. He was baiting the UK Government trying to undermine their policies and trying to make them look like the bad guys when they wouldn’t acquiess to his demands to grant them Bermudian status. He was trying to make the UK look unsympathetic and expected Bermudians to back him in his humanitarian ploy. But it backfired, the UK would not back down and he looked like an idiot who didn’t know his own countries policies. So now we’re stuck with four stateless men. I feel sorry for them but do not agree that they should be given UK Citizenship and Bermudian status.

  47. Sandman says:

    The way that they were brought to bermuda was wrong, but they are the victims here. They are basically refugees – they would be persecuted if sent back to china. However they got here they are here now. USA is not taking them back and it is unbecoming to play pass the parcel with peoples lives.

    It is the right thing to do to give refugees status after a few years so they can try and get their lives back on track.

    There are other injustices in Bermuda, like kids who’ve lived all their lives here and can’t get status. Both cases need to be addressed. But it’s very mean to say that because the Portuguese can’t get status then neither can the uighurs. Better to ally with them: yes the uighurs should get status and so should the majority of young adults who have spent most of their lives in bermuda.

    Show some humanity – try opening some doors instead of closing them

  48. rock says:

    Im born, raised, educated in Bermuda, only have a PRC yet my older sibling has Bermudian status. If they get status, that is one big slap in the face. Welcome to ‘our’ country.

  49. Really?!…. This is just not acceptable!!!

    • STAY FOCUSED says:

      OK PEOPLE ALL THESE COMMENTS ARE WELL PUT

      BUT LETS LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE.
      AND THAT IS ,IF WE ALL WHERE AS PHYSICAL TOWARD THINGS THAT RUB US THE WRONG WAY .AND I MEAN THIS BY GETTING UP OFF OUR TAILS AND TAKEING A STAND TO NIP SITUATIONS LIKE THIS IN THE BUTT,WE WOULDNT BE IN THE MESS WE ARE IN NOW.

      THIS DIDNT HAPPEN OVER NIGHT.ALTHOUGH THE WOOL WAS PULLED OVER THE ISLANDS EYES BUY SMUGGLEING THESE MEN IN UNDER THE COVER OF DARKNESS.
      BUT THIS IS ONLY A RESULT OF YEARS OF LOOKING THE OTHER WAY AND COMPLAINING AT THE SAME TIME.

      ITS TIME TO SPEEK OUT IN THE OPEN IN NUMBERS,INSTEAD OF BEHIND CLOSED DOORS IN GROUPS.
      WE HAVE LOST OUR VOICE BUT ITS NOT GONE FOREVER.

      I JUST WISH WE COULD ALL SEE THINGS THE SAME.

  50. Kiskadee says:

    Do these men have jobs ? There are so many Bermudians who do not .If they don’t have jobs who is supporting their new wives and children? In a few years time we,the taxpayers, will be paying for their children in our local schools. Send them back to their own country as I am sure the U.S . wont have them or give them passports and let them travel to a country who will welcome them and give them and their families jobs. They should NOT be given status here.

  51. bir says:

    Sorry we cannot let them

  52. Clive Spate says:

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

    Articles 13-15 are not being upheld!!
    It is being questioned why they were allowed to marry (Article 16- they have a right to!)
    Are these men not entitled to the basic human rights set out by the UN?

    A former Premier, voted in democratically, allowed this. It is Bermuda’s problem to solve.

    • theothersidebda says:

      How do you figure these are not being upheld:

      Article 13: Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country – check, they can technically go back if they wish (but clearly punishment awaits).

      Article 14: Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution – check, they are currently enjoying asylum in this country.

      Article 15: Everyone has the right to a nationality – check, last I checked they had a nationality. It ain’t Bermudian but they have one!

  53. Amsterdamned says:

    burch and ewart should be investigated. They had no right to bring terrorists to the island, regardless of the secret deals they made with obama. These sleepers have been waiting for status when they should have just been sent back to china

  54. theothersidebda says:

    Seems a bit irresponsible to me to bring children into a situation that you knew was tenuous at best. Once the 1 year mark expired and no passport was given, something should have clicked and said, “maybe having children right now under these circumstances is not the best idea”.

  55. foldgers says:

    I agree with theothersidebda .. to bring children into this situation and not know your own situation is wrong .. Also the family that was left behind , what about the wives, are these unions now actually legal.. Was anyone legally divorced. Is it not illegal to marry whilst still married?? just asking. Also I have to really wonder what the real story is.. I continue to read about the situation in china.. I find it interesting but on several occasions I have encountered these men and I really have to wonder whats really going on. Why do they not even wonder or care what happened to the families left behind.. How heartless..

  56. rhodes says:

    why should we reward possible terrorists with UK rights or bda status? they are not qualify and eligible PERIOD! eb flaunted our laws and with his own mouth said it was NOT FOR HIM to dispense..so there you go..send them back to obama..btw he was the one who used eb to do his dirty job..

  57. samuel says:

    if the uighurs get status they will have to give to the prc and others..who got more rights than terrorists..