US top court blocks Guantanamo Uighurs case again

The US Supreme Court delivered a new blow to inmates at Guantanamo from Uighur Muslims, who sought notice of their release due to fears of Beijing.

US top court blocks Guantanamo Uighurs case again

The US Supreme Court on Monday delivered a new blow to inmates at illegal U.S. prison Guantanamo Bay in Cuba from Uighur Muslims, who sought prior notice of their release due to fears of Beijing.

Lawyers for the members of the Uighur ethnic group who have been held for years at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo sought the 30 days notice so they could oppose a transfer to a country where the Uighurs may be tortured or detained.

Human rights groups and others have harshly criticised the prison that has undermined the reputation of the United States worldwide because of its illegal position. Many prisoners have been held for years without charges, and rights groups say U.S. forces have commited torture, abuse and renditon.

The justices rejected without comment a case by four Uighurs at the prison in Cuba, letting stand a lower court ruling that said that judges could not second-guess US decisions on when and where to send detainees once freed.

The U.S. government has said it cannot return the Uighurs to China because they would face persecution there. Of the seven Uighurs still at Guantanamo, Switzerland has said it would take two of them, and the Pacific nation of Palau and another unidentified nation have offered to take the others.

A federal judge in Washington required a month's notice of a proposed transfer of the Uighurs to another country.

But a U.S. appeals court ruled judges cannot bar transfers of Guantanamo detainees because the prisoner is likely to be tortured or subject to prosecution or detention.

"The government has declared its policy not to transfer a detainee to a country that likely will torture him, and the district court may not second-guess the government's assessment of that likelihood," the appeals court said in its opinion.

Lawyers for several Uighurs appealed to the Supreme Court and said the case involved the important question of whether judges can require advance notice so they still have an opportunity to decide any claims relating to the transfer.

The justices rejected the appeal without comment.

There are 188 detainees at Guantanam and difficulty in finding countries willing to accept some of the prisoners.

On March 1, the Supreme Court got rid of a separate appeal by the Uighurs on whether judges can order Guantanamo prisoners into the United States when no other country will take them.

The court said the facts of that case had changed because the Uighurs now have received at least one offer to go to another country.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Mart 2010, 09:04
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