For Immediate Release
Amnesty International Thrilled by Constitutional Victory in the Uighur Detainees’ Case
WASHINGTON - Larry Cox, executive director
of Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement in response
to the decision by the United States District Court for the District of
Columbia to allow the 17 remaining Uighur Guantanamo detainees to be released
into the United States while their habeas corpus cases are decided. All
these men were ruled to be non-enemy combatants by the U.S. Department
"Today's decision is a huge victory
for the rule of law and fundamental liberties. However, this decision
will mean little to the detainees if it is ignored, as other court opinions
have been in practice by the Bush administration. These detainees have
been held more than five years without charge or trial. This U.S. court
asserted that there are limits to executive power and ultimately--the U.S.
Constitution means something.
"How many times does the Bush administration
need to be told that detainees are entitled to essential rights? All the
remaining detainees in Guantanamo Bay must be either charged and tried
or released immediately. Amnesty International urges the U.S. government
to ensure the safety of these detainees.
"When the presiding judge, Judge Ricardo
Urbina, said ‘the separation of powers doesn't trump the right to liberty,'
he spoke for millions of Americans."