For Immediate Release
Amnesty International Extremely Disappointed by Appeals Court Decision to Stop Release of Uighur Detainees
Human Rights Organization Urges Bush Administration to Allow Men into the United States
WASHINGTON - Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit's decision on Monday, October 20 to block the release of the 17 Uighur detainees from the U.S.-controlled detention facility in Guantanamo Bay. Their release had been ordered by the lower District Court on October 7:
"The latest decision regarding the continued illegal detention of the Uighur detainees is extremely disappointing. The U.S. Department of Justice filed an appeal on the basis that the District Court overstepped its authority by allowing the Uighur detainees into the United States. Though the Bush administration has now conceded that the Uighurs are not enemy combatants, the government's appeal contains inflammatory language that goes beyond any previous claims. These provocative assertions will make resettlement more difficult and virtually ensure that these men will continue to languish in a bleak situation.
"The Bush administration claims that only it can decide the Uighurs' fate, but has created a situation that makes any fair resolution impossible. The trail of damage wreaked by the Bush administration on the lives of these men and their families, already devastating, is now even longer. The Bush legacy will forever be inextricably linked with willful violation of the human rights of people who, in this case even the government agrees, pose no danger."
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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.