Guantanamo Detainees Reach Supreme Court

Supreme Court
In another development concerning the status of detainees held by the United States in Guantanamo Bay, the Supreme Court has decided to hear the case of a group of Chinese Muslims held at the base since 2002. Detainees were held at the U.S. naval base under the classification “enemy combatants,” which limited their access to lawyers and the court system. In several notable federal and Supreme Court cases, the rights of most of the detainees were recognized, and many were released. There are still more than 200 still held in the base, however.

One group of detainees, a group of Uighurs (WEE-ghers), were cleared in 2003 to be released. These men, however, have not been released because no country will accept them. The Uighers belong to a group that sometimes clashes with the Chinese government. Although a few countries have accepted some Uighurs into their borders, many fear diplomatic retaliation from China for doing so.

In 2008, a federal court ordered the men released from Guantanamo, even if that meant they had to be released into the United States. In early 2010, the Supreme Court will decide whether the judge who ordered the release has the authority to do so. Depending on the outcome of the case, the Uighurs may be released or may face further court appeals. The case highlights the problems faced by the White House administration, which hoped to close the detention center by January 22, 2010.

Related Links

  • Supreme Court to Hear Case
    This news article outlines the steps the Uighurs have taken to reach the Supreme Court and the importance of the decision of the Court on future actions by the president. (Source: Washington Post, October 26, 2009)
  • Detainees’ Case Reaches Supreme Court
    This article contains information about the group of Uighurs and their legal challenges to their detention. (Source: Yahoo News, October 26, 2009)

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