Appeals Court Orders Continued Imprisonment Of Uighurs Unlawfully Detained At Guantánamo

February 18, 2009 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – A federal appeals panel today blocked the release of 17 Chinese ethnic Uighurs, who have been detained without charge for over seven years at Guantánamo Bay. Despite the fact that the U.S. government no longer considers the men “enemy combatants” and admitted that it does not have the authority to detain them, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned an October 2008 decision that ordered their release.

The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Security Project:

“Today’s decision represents a disappointing step back towards the Bush administration’s unlawful Guantánamo policies. These men were cleared for release but have been held without charge in a system that utterly disregards the fundamental tenets of due process. This decision only underscores how important it is that the Obama administration act quickly to dismantle the Bush administration’s misguided national security policies and to close Guantánamo altogether. The Bush administration’s proposition that individuals can be held indefinitely in a legal black hole is an idea that the Obama administration should reject immediately.”

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