Supreme Court Takes Uighurs' Case

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 20, 2009 10:00 AM CDT
Chinese Uighur Guantanamo detainees, who at the time were cleared for release but had no country to go to, show a home-made note to visiting members of the media, at Camp Iguana detention facility.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, Pool, File)
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(Newser) – The Supreme Court will hear a new case about the rights of Guantanamo detainees, this time involving prisoners who remain in custody even after the Pentagon determines they're not a threat to the United States, the court said today. Last year, the court said in a 5-4 ruling that federal judges could ultimately order some detainees to be released, depending on security concerns and other circumstances.

But a federal appeals court overturned a judge's order to do just that in the case of the Chinese Muslims, or Uighurs, saying judges lacked authority to order detainees released into the United States. The Obama administration urged the court to stay out of the case, noting that diplomatic efforts to find countries to accept the Uighurs are ongoing. Even since the administration's court filing, four Uighurs have been sent to Bermuda, while six have accepted an invitation to move to Palau. The Pacific nation has offered to take six of the seven other Uighurs at Guantanamo.