Justices Decline to Hear Appeal From Chinese Detainees

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from five Uighurs who have been released from the Guantanamo Bay detention center but not allowed to settle in the U.S. From the New York Times:

The prisoners, from the largely Muslim Uighur region of western China, were captured in Afghanistan or Pakistan after the Sept. 11 attacks. They have been determined by the government to pose no threat to the United States, and Justice Breyer wrote that all concerned agree that their detention is “without lawful cause.” The prisoners do not want to be returned to China, where they are considered terrorists and fear torture or execution.

The question in the case, Justice Breyer wrote, is whether judges may order the prisoners to be released here over the government’s objection.

The Supreme Court agreed in 2009 to decide that question, but it dismissed the earlier case last year after the government told the court that it had obtained resettlement offers from Palau, an island nation in the Pacific, and an unidentified second country.

In an unsigned decision last year, the Supreme Court returned the case to the lower courts for further proceedings in light of those developments. “No court has yet ruled in this case in light of the new facts,” the decision said, “and we decline to be the first.”

Read more about the Guantanamo detainees via CDT.

April 18, 2011 10:05 PM
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