For Immediate Release
Amnesty International Disappointed by Appeals Court Decision to Delay Release of Uighur Detainees
WASHINGTON - Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement regarding the continued legal wrangling about the status of the 17 Uighur detainees' in Guantanamo Bay. On the evening of October 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit blocked the release of the Uighur detainees, which had been ordered by the lower District Court on October 7. The Court granted the U.S. government's emergency motion for a stay so that the U.S. government could file an appeal regarding the Uighur detainees' entry into the United States:
"The latest decision regarding the continued illegal detention of the Uighur detainees is disappointing, to say the least. Per the ruling by the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had been asked to provide recommendations on the conditions under which the Uighurs would live in the United States. Amnesty International urges the DHS to recognize the U.S. Department of Defense's declaration that these men are not enemy combatants and allow them to lead normal lives, to the extent possible in the United States."
"The U.S. Department of Justice seeks to file an appeal on the basis that the District Court overstepped its authority by allowing the Uighur detainees into the United States. That is rather ironic since the Bush administration has abused its executive privileges and shown contempt for international law and Constitutional principles -- especially when applied to detainees at Guantanamo Bay."
"Mr. President, the U.S. Constitution is the foundation of this nation's rule of law; not a sheet of paper that bends to suit your administration's unlawful actions in the name of national security. It is time for you and your administration to stop fighting the courts and respect the time-honored principle of the Constitution."
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.