Uighur Guantanamo detainees seek Supreme Court review of transfer process

[JURIST] Lawyers for four Chinese Muslim Uighurs detained at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] filed a petition for certiorari [text, PDF] with the US Supreme Court [official website] Tuesday, raising issues with the government policy for transferring detainees to other locations. The case, known as Kiyemba II, is an appeal from an April ruling [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] by the US District Court for the District of Columbia, and is separate from a case that the Court agreed to hear [JURIST report] last month, known now as Kiyemba I. The first issue raised in the appeal is whether a federal court can require the government to give 30 days notice before detainees can be transferred out of Guantanamo Bay. This period would give the detainees time to bring any claims related to the transfer, such as potential persecution or torture, in US courts before they are transferred to locations outside of federal court jurisdiction. The second issue is the standard required for federal courts to issue an injunction under the All Writs Act [28 USC § 1651 text].

Of the 17 Uighurs were initially detained at Guantanamo Bay after being captured in Afghanistan, seven remain at the facility. Six Uighurs were released and transferred to the Republic of Palau last month, and four were released and transferred [JURIST reports] to Bermuda in June. All 17 Uighurs were cleared for release after the Bush administration no longer found them to be unlawful enemy combatants [10 USC § 948a text; JURIST news archive]. The Supreme Court is currently considering whether federal courts can order their release into the US.



 

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