HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) - Nearly 1,000 protesters demanded
Tuesday that Bermuda's premier resign, saying he should have
consulted with high-ranking officials before accepting four
released Guantanamo inmates.
The protesters said they are not against the presence in the
British territory of the four Chinese Muslims known as Uighurs, who
were declared innocent of any wrongdoing by U.S. authorities. But
they said Premier Ewart Brown showed disrespect by not consulting
with Britain or local police officials before making the decision.
The Uighurs arrived early Thursday in Bermuda and are expected
to enroll in a guest-worker program and eventually obtain Bermudian
Brown addressed the crowd but was soon drowned out. Police
estimated that 800 to 1,000 people took part in the protest.
"I grew up in the protest era," he said. "This is nothing new
A small group of supporters were also present.
Britain has suggested that Bermuda accepted the Uighurs so the
U.S. would go soft on their tax haven status, a charge local
officials have denied.
Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband said he complained to
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and feels the territory
should not have agreed to the deal without consulting London.
Britain handles defense, security and foreign affairs policy for
The men were once terrorism suspects, but even after U.S.
authorities determined the men weren't a threat to the United
States, they were kept at the Guantanamo prison for years because
no nation would take them until Bermuda did so.
The Pacific island nation of Palau has agreed to take in 13
other Uighurs still in Guantanamo.