ACLU Urges Supreme Court to Hear Case of 17 Uighurs Detained Indefinitely at Guantánamo

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Rachel Myers, (212) 549-2689 or 2666; media@aclu.org

ACLU Urges Supreme Court to Hear Case of 17 Uighurs Detained Indefinitely at Guantánamo

NEW YORK - The American Civil Liberties Union urged the United States Supreme
Court in a friend-of-the-court brief to hear the case of 17 Chinese
ethnic Uighurs who have been detained without charge for over seven
years at Guantánamo Bay and whose continued detention was found
unlawful by a federal district court. The district court ordered the
Uighurs, who the government concedes are not "enemy combatants,"
released into the U.S. because they cannot be returned to China given
the threat of torture there, and because no other country has agreed to
accept them. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit reversed that decision in February when it held that federal
courts are powerless to order the men released into the U.S. even if
their continued detention is illegal. In its friend-of-the-court brief
filed yesterday, the ACLU urged the Court to review the D.C. circuit
decision.

The following can be attributed to Jennifer Chang Newell, a staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project:

"The Supreme Court should review the D.C. circuit ruling in order to enforce the landmark decision in Boumediene v. Bush
holding that the constitutional guarantee of habeas corpus applies to
Guantánamo detainees. The Constitution requires that where a federal
court has found a detainee's imprisonment to be illegal, the court must
have the power to order his release - including release into the United
States when necessary to end the unlawful detention. Permitting the
government to hold these men indefinitely violates the Constitution and
threatens to render habeas corpus a dead letter."

The ACLU's friend-of-the-court brief is available online at: www.aclu.org/scotus/2008term/kiyembav.obama/39536lgl20090506.html

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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