Governor: Discussions On Uighurs Will Continue

May 2, 2013

Governor George Fergusson said the position of the four Uighurs is one “which the British Government is keen to see resolved satisfactorily for all concerned” and discussions about the matter will continue.

The four Chinese nationals were released from the offshore US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and resettled in Bermuda in July 2009. Earlier this year, lawyer Richard Horseman wrote to Premier Craig Cannonier suggesting that the Bermuda Government pass legislation that will grant the Uighurs, their spouses and children Bermuda status.

In a statement released this morning [May 2] the Governor said, “During the visit last week of Mr Mark Simmonds MP, UK Minister for Overseas Territories, the question of the Uighurs was raised. As Mr Simmonds said, this is primarily a matter for the Government of Bermuda.

“But the position of the four men, through no fault of their own, is one which the British Government is keen to see resolved satisfactorily for all concerned.

“Mr Simmonds had discussed this with the Premier; and I have had recent discussions with the Premier and the Minister for Home Affairs, exploring possible options. These discussions will continue,” concluded Governor Fergusson.

Earlier this week, Premier Craig Cannonier said, “My concern is that we have the Uighurs here in Bermuda, they have no status at all.

“If there were something to happen — and what I did speak with the Minister about — if there were to be a medical emergency concerning the Uighurs, our hands are really tied, we can’t even really fly them out for medical attention.

“And I insisted that some form of some way be worked out with the UK that if medical attention is needed that we can fly them out and that they could return. We have also been working with the US on a similar agreement to ensure that.

Premier Cannonier concluded, “But as we go forward there are some options. I won’t speak of those options now as we are in talks with the US and UK about what some of the other options are, and we will make those known when it is more clear that they may happen.”

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Comments (21)

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  1. Blame ewart says:

    This is all your fault Dr. Brown. Your incompetence and selfishness is what got us here today.

    You are nothing but a self centered piece of S*%#

    • Verbal Kint says:

      Dr. Brown’s act wasn’t incompetent — it could probably be argued that it was criminal. Some have even said he should be charged with human trafficking, but it will never happen. Bermudians do not have the will to see that right is done. Consequently, we all deserve what we have gotten. The Uighurs deserve to be treated like human beings.

    • $$$$$$$ says:

      Come on now when has the big boys in America ever did something without making a back room deal. We got something out of this. It might be something to to with all the off shore compaines incorporating in Bermuda. Remember the company’s income from outside the USA becomes exempt from American taxes. Meaning the President not going touch them for a little while. You must believe they are coming here for the cedar trees. Then again how much did we get for each one? Anyone know the price of a Uighurs. Wasn’t it a mill + for 1.

      • $$$$$$$ says:

        Oh and sorry I didn’t see or hear about the $$$$$$$ I just know it wasn’t done for free.

  2. Black Soil says:

    They will “talk” for years till the original Uighurs pass on. Then Bermuda will naturalize their kids. People like the easy route out…so that process will probably proceed.

  3. Elizabeth Von Trumparani says:

    Black Soil – I think you are correct. This is truly the gift that will keep on giving. Thanks Dr B.

  4. Say no says:

    You have people born here and can’t get status. What makes these people so special. Tell Ewart to take them in. He caused all this.

  5. Really? says:

    STATUS??? Are you freaking kidding me??? the only way i personally will allow that to happen is if Ewart Brown and 4 of his goons give up there Bermudian status to pass on to the Uighurs.

    Plenty of Brits out there who have been kicked off the island and not received status. This will lead to “Ultra Violent reprocutions” be careful Bermuda

    • Kathy says:

      Agreed! People born in Bermuda and have lived here for over 25 years, married here, had kids here can’t even get status! It is a sad state of affairs if they even discuss Bermuda STATUS as an option!

      Put ‘em on the next cruise ship back to America and see what happens when they get there! Can’t send ‘em back as they don’t have any Bermuda paperwork!

      • Black Soil says:

        Kathy…please don’t take your frustrations out on the Uighurs. They are not responsible for Bermuda’s stupid status policies. And it isn’t very charitable to use them as whipping posts. They are victims of Dr. Brown’s and Col. Burch’s actions. So please focus your frustrations on those two “individuals”.

  6. Watching On says:

    Don’t even get me started. As I know Spouses of Bermudians who were abused and told to get off the island after giving up so much to be in Bermuda. Honestly, I hope OBA sit and take a good look at some of Bermuda’s Immigration policies. They give Human Rights a bad name.

    • Stop Watching says:


      They must have been told to get off for a reason. If they were living in any Country other then Bermuda, what do you think would happen? Give me a break if it was so bad here why so many people want to stay. In what other places in the World people say good morning to you as you walk down the street? Try doing that on a Bus or street in the USA, people would look at you strange. If you a male and you F#k up you have to leave. Get the facts correct women that are married to Bermudians are protected, Immigration can’t remove them.

      • Watching On says:

        So what happen in the case of a woman who has been abused by her Bermudian husband? Is she still protected because she reported him and he files for a divorce because he is upset everyone now knows he is an abuser? I think not, especially not in Bermuda, because I know someone going through that right now.

  7. Brad says:

    This isn’t the UK’s problem. They shouldn’t have to even worry about it. Period!!

  8. pickle juice says:

    I feel really sorry for the Uighurs.

    Dear Uighurs, do not be upset by the way Bermudians are acting in regards to the possibility of status. The whole status issue is due to the disrespect and wrongful treatment the former government showed to people who have lived here their entire lives and were forced to leave.

    I think you should ask Ewart Brown to handle this situation personally. Do not blame Bermuda or Bermudians. Blame Ewart and his goof troop.

    I am sorry for what is happening to you guys :(

  9. Hmmmmm says:

    Some hell when you have to clean up after your boss Gov.

  10. Frank'N'Onions says:

    As the law is currently written, our “guests” cannot have status even if the Bermuda law is changed unless 1: They are British citizens or 2: They are commonwealth citizens.

    It’s chicken and egg at the moment. The current British law cannot give them citizenship unless the Bermuda law can give them the right to remain indefinitely and only then after they’ve been here 5 years. The current Bermuda law (and immigration policy) has no way of giving them the right to be here indefinitely (i.e. PRC) so they’re going to be stuck between a rock and an ocean until either Bermuda or the UK change their law.

    It’s unlikely the UK will make a change to their law to accomodate the Uighurs so it’s squarely back in Bermuda’s court. To allow them indefinite stay in Bermuda would require a change of law and of course that will open up a different can of worms altogether. It has been rightly stated that many have been asked to leave our shores despite having been here for many years (20+) and contributing to the community as a whole.

    And the hot potato keeps changing hands.

  11. Triangle Drifter says:

    The toxic PLP fallout keeps on raining down. How much has this debacle cost the Bermuda taxpayer? How much more will it cost the Bermuda taxpayer as it grinds on year after year.

    Too bad the individuals responsible cannot be billed for the cost.

    • Mad Dawg says:

      The PLP don’t care what things cost. They think money comes from a bottomless pit.

      And don’t expect Ewart to kick in and help them with his own money, or Burch. When have we ever seen them do anything philanthropic? Never. They were only ever in it for themselves.

  12. Common Sense says:

    What has been completely lost here is the eminently sensible approach to this problem that has been adopted by Premier Cannonier. He has so rightly pointed out that if there were to be a medical emergency concerning the Uighurs, our hands are really tied, we can’t even really fly them out for medical attention.

    Yes, it is proving all but impossible to resolve and would anger so many people if the Uighers were to be granted status, but at least our Premier is telling us the truth and adopting a common sense approach to solving the problem as he continues talks with both the UK and US. On this issue I give him an “A” for effort.

  13. Muslima says:

    It’s sad that people keep comparing their friends and spouses of Bermudians to the Uighers. They are the ONLY PEOPLE on this Island in this situation NO ONE else can compare. They did not ask to be here. If you leave your country and decide to stay in Bermuda for 20+ YEARS that is “YOUR decision”, if you Marry a man who miss treats you “YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO STAY OR LEAVE BERMUDA” at the end of the day it is your decision. I’m not saying that Bermuda immigration laws don’t need to be change, because they do. The BIG difference between every other person on this crappy Island and the Uighers is that the rest of us have a choice we can leave and they can’t. END OF STORY.