The 17 Uighurs being held at Guantanamo Bay are now in legal limbo following a federal judge’s ruling that they should be released onto U.S. soil. The U.S. Court of Appeals has now ordered a stay on their release. From the Washington Post:
The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued the “administrative stay” at the request of the Justice Department.
In a one-page order, the appellate judges said they issued the stay to give them “sufficient opportunity” to consider the government’s request for a lengthier delay while it appeals the ruling by U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina.
Meanwhile, China has asked for them to be repatriated and has promised that they will not be tortured. From AP:
“Some people may worry whether these people could be tortured in China, I believe this is biased. China is a country under the rule of law, and forbids torture by any Chinese authorities, be they judiciary or public security,” Qin said.
The Bush administration is trying to find a country to accept the group and has said the detainees might be tortured if they are turned over to China.
In a 19-page emergency request to a federal appeals court the Bush administration argued for the postponement of the detainees’ release, maintaining there would be only “minimal harms” if the detainees were to stay at Guantanamo a while longer.