Chinese Muslims at Gitmo Press Supreme Court to Act

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2009 2:56 PM CDT
Demonstrators protesting in front of the White House.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The 17 Uighurs being held at Guantanamo issued a challenge to the Supreme Court today in petitioning for their release, the Miami Herald reports. "The historic role of the Judicial Branch is to demand the release of prisoners precisely when the political branches find release inconvenient," their petition reads. A district court judge ordered the men—Chinese Muslims deemed terrorists by their own country and apprehended in Afghanistan in 2001—released 8 months ago.

Should the petition fail, the Uighurs’ lawyers said, “federal courts will have sanctioned, within their jurisdiction, unlawful executive imprisonment that may yet extend the indefinite to the infinite.” The US won’t release them to China, where the government might persecute them, and lawmakers have balked at settling them on American soil. The detainees mounted a protest Monday likening the US to a “double Hetler,” apparently referencing Hitler.