U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Gitmo Uighurs Case

The U.S. Supreme Court is to rule on whether the remaining Uighurs at the U.S.’s Guantanamo Bay detention camp can be released in the U.S. when no other country can be found to take them. Twenty-two Uighurs were captured as enemy combatants in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2002 but were cleared for release in 2004. Beijing wants them all back but Washington has been looking for third party countries to take them. It is concerned that the Uighurs run a risk of persecution if returned to China as Beijing considers them militant separatists, a concern that the recent death sentences following July’s deadly rights in Urumqi have done nothing to diminish. However, only nine have found recipient countries. Palau has said it will take 12 of the 13 remaining, but the Uighurs don’t want to go there. The Supreme Court is not likely to hear the case until January, giving the Obama administration a little more breathing space to find other countries willing to take the Uighurs. But if the court rules that the Uighurs should be released into the U.S. it will bring another U.S-China tension point to a head.

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Filed under China-U.S., Politics & Society

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