* File photo by James Whittaker. Settling in: The four Uyghurs taken in by Bermuda after their release from Guantanamo love their new island home.
* File photo by James Whittaker. Settling in: The four Uyghurs taken in by Bermuda after their release from Guantanamo love their new island home.
The saga of the Uyghurs, falsely imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, took another twist this week when two of the remaining prisoners were granted asylum in Switzerland.

Of the 21 men detained in the wake of the U.S. led assault on Afghanistan after the September 11 attack in 2001, only five now remain in custody at the terror camp.

Khalil Mamut, one of the four Uyghurs given a home in Bermuda last summer, is "very pleased" two of his "brothers" have finally been freed.

Mr. Mamut - who said when released that his happiness could not be complete until the rest of the Uyghurs were free - hopes the five remaining prisoners will be let go too.

The Swiss Federal Council voted on Wednesday morning to take in the two brothers after protracted negotiations and despite objections from China.

Sabin Willett, a lawyer acting for the Uyghurs, said the deal to bring four of the prisoners to Bermuda last June had opened the way for this week's agreement.

He added: "We are thrilled and delighted at the news Switzerland has granted asylum to two Uyghur prisoners in Guantanamo.

"We sought this asylum for many years without success.

"But Bermuda's successful experience, in which four Uyghur men received a warm welcome and have almost seamlessly joined life in Bermuda, was crucial in helping us persuade the Swiss.

"They followed Bermuda's lead in extending that humanitarian gesture. We are very grateful to our friends in Bermuda and Switzerland."

Just five Uyghurs now remain at Guantanamo. The Supreme Court is due to decide if they can be released into the U.S.

Federal judge Ricardo Urbina ordered their release into the States in 2008 but his decision was overturned.

An appeals court ruled judges do not have authority to order the transfer of foreigners into the U.S. - only Congress and the executive branch do.

Lawyers acting for the Uyghurs appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed to review the case. The Centre for Constitutional Rights commended the actions of the Swiss, saying more than 100 nations were approached but most were unwilling to take the Uyghur prisoners.

They said: "Despite pressure from the communist Chinese, five of the Uyghur prisoners were released to Albania in 2006 and four to Bermuda in 2009.

"All are living peaceful and productive lives. Six more have temporarily been relocated to the island nation of Palau, where they are awaiting resettlement in a third country."

Evelyn Widmer-Schlumpf, Swiss Minister of Justice, said: "Switzerland's decision to take in the ethnic Uyghur brothers was guided by humanitarian principles and should not be interpreted as giving preference to one country over another."

Lawyer Elizabeth Gilson added: "These men have been told for nearly eight years they didn't belong in Guantanamo.

"They were brought there after Pakistani villagers kidnapped and sold them for substantial bounty payments offered by the U.S.

"All they want now is to live peacefully in a democratic country."