From Guantánamo to the United States: The Story of the Wrongly Imprisoned Uighurs

9.10.08

Judge Ricardo UrbinaIn an extraordinary and unprecedented ruling in a US District Court, Judge Ricardo Urbina has ruled that 17 wrongly imprisoned Chinese Muslims at Guantánamo must be allowed entry to the United States. It is, as the media has been reporting, the first time that a US court has directly ordered the release of a prisoner at Guantánamo, and the first time that a foreign national held at the prison has been ordered to be brought to the United States. It is also a resounding blow to the administration’s claims that it can seize anyone it wishes as an “enemy combatant,” and hold them indefinitely, even if there is no evidence whatsoever to support their detention.

The road to Guantánamo

The 17 men — Uighurs (or Uyghurs) from Xinjiang province in the People’s Republic of China (known to the Uighurs as East Turkestan) — have been a problem for the authorities since they were captured nearly seven years ago. Refugees from Chinese oppression, 13 of the men had, by accident or design, made their way to a run-down hamlet in Afghanistan’s Tora Bora mountains, where they spent their time making the place habitable, and indulging in futile dreams of rising up against their historic oppressors. After the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001, they were targeted in a US bombing raid, in which several of their companions died. The survivors made their way to the Pakistani border, where they were welcomed by villagers, who betrayed them soon after, selling them for a bounty to US forces.

The other four Uighurs were caught up in similarly bleak scenarios. One had fled from death and destruction in Kabul, and was caught as he attempted to cross the Pakistani border, and three were randomly seized in northern Afghanistan and imprisoned with several hundred foreign Taliban fighters in Qala-i-Janghi, a fort run by General Rashid Dostum, one of the leaders of the Northern Alliance. When Alliance troops, with support from US and British Special Forces, began tying the men’s hands behind their backs, some of the Taliban soldiers thought that they were about to be executed, and rose up against their captors. In the ensuing massacre — involving ground troops and bombing raids — the majority of the prisoners were killed, but the Uighurs, along with 84 others, had stayed in the basement, where they survived death by bombing, fire and flooding, and they were part of a group of around 50 survivors who were eventually transferred to Guantánamo.

According to Chris Mackey, the pseudonym of a senior interrogator at the US-run prisons in Kandahar and Bagram, which were used to process the prisoners for Guantánamo, US forces realized almost immediately that the men were not involved with al-Qaeda, but decided to hold them for their supposed intelligence value. In his book The Interrogators, Mackey explained that their arrival triggered a frenzy of activity in the upper echelons of the administration. “The requests for follow-up questions flooded in from Washington,” he wrote, “and every query that came in made it clear that US intelligence was starting from practically zero with this group.”

Twisted tribunals

Transferred to Guantánamo, so that the authorities could continue milking them for information about China, the US authorities nevertheless persisted in identifying the men with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, by claiming that they were associated with the East Turkestan Independence Movement (ETIM), a Uighur resistance group. And when the administration sought support from China for its invasion of Iraq — or, at least, a lack of opposition — it obligingly designated ETIM a terrorist organization, and allowed Chinese interrogators to visit Guantánamo, where, according to several of the prisoners, they received threats that they would be killed if they ever returned to China.

In 2004, when the Supreme Court ruled that the prisoners had habeas corpus rights (in other words, the right to challenge the basis of their detention in a federal court), the administration’s cynical response was to introduce military review boards at Guantánamo — the Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) — to assess whether, on capture, the prisoners had been correctly designated as “enemy combatants,” who could be held without charge or trial. This was a hideously unjust process, as the prisoners were not allowed legal representation, were confronted with often spurious allegations (frequently produced through the torture or coercive interrogations of other prisoners), and were also prevented from either seeing or hearing the “classified evidence” against them, which could also have been produced in the same unjust, unprincipled, and often illegal manner.

Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, a veteran of US intelligence who worked on the tribunals, caused a stir last year when he explained how the information used in the tribunals frequently consisted of intelligence “of a generalized nature — often outdated, often ‘generic,’ rarely specifically relating to the individual subjects of the CSRTs or to the circumstances related to those individuals’ status,” and how the entire process was, essentially, designed to rubber-stamp the prisoners’ prior designation as “enemy combatants.” As a result, only 38 of the 558 prisoners were cleared for release after the tribunals, and on a few occasions, when the result of the tribunal displeased the administration, further tribunals were held until the desired result was achieved.

This happened to at least two of the Uighurs, Anwar Hassan and Hammad Mohammed, but others were among the lucky 38 who were found to be “No Longer Enemy Combatants” after the CSRTs, and five of these men were finally released in May 2006, when Albania stepped forward as the only country in the world prepared to risk the wrath of China by giving the men a new home — albeit one with no Uighur community, no work prospects, and no chance for them ever to be reunited with their families.

The five Uighurs released in Albania in 2006

The five Uighurs released in Albania in May 2006. Photo by Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum, for the New York Times.

While these men struggled to survive in Albania, the other Uighurs — who were all eventually cleared for release after further review boards — remained in severe isolation in Guantanamo. Like the majority of other cleared prisoners from human rights-abusing regimes (including Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Uzbekistan), few of the men were held in Camp 4, the only block that allowed the prisoners to share dorm-like facilities, and the majority continued to be held in maximum security cellblocks for 22 or 23 hours a day, prohibited from meeting each other and with little, if any outside stimulation to break the corrosive monotony of their existence, or their fears that they would never be released or would, in fact, be surreptitiously returned to China.

In March, a letter from Guantánamo by one of the prisoners, Abdulghappar, described the suffering of the men in painful detail. He wrote: “Being away from family, away from our homeland, and also away from the outside world and losing any contact with anyone is not suitable for a human being, as, also, is being forbidden from experiencing natural sunlight and natural air, and being surrounded by a metal box on all sides.” He also reported that one of his compatriots had embarked on a hunger strike in protest, but was being punished for it, and asked, “In the US Constitution, is it a crime for someone to ask to protect his health and to ask for his rights? If it does count as a crime, then what is the difference between the US Constitution and the Communist Constitution?”

Empty evidence

This impasse over the Uighurs’ plight was finally broken in June, after the Supreme Court, dismayed that the habeas rights it had granted the prisoners in 2004 had been removed in subsequent legislation, stamped its authority by ruling that the prisoners had constitutional habeas rights. This unblocked a queue of contested habeas cases that had been on hold pending the Supreme Court’s ruling, and when the first of the cases, Parhat v. Gates, reached the Court of Appeals in Washington, the judges’ explosive ruling led directly to Judge Urbina’s historic ruling on Tuesday.

The three Appeal Court judges — noticeably, two Conservatives and a Liberal — ruled that the CSRT’s decision that Huzaifa Parhat, one of the Uighurs, was an “enemy combatant” was “invalid,” and “directed the government to release or transfer” him (or to hold a new tribunal “consistent with the Court’s opinion”). In a savage denunciation of the CSRT decision, they lambasted the government for the flimsy and unsubstantiated allegations and associations it used to conclude that Parhat was an “enemy combatant,” and in a memorable passage compared the government’s argument that its evidence was reliable because it was mentioned in three different classified documents to a line from a nonsense poem by Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. As Chief Judge Merrick B. Garland explained, “Lewis Carroll notwithstanding, the fact the government has ’said it thrice’ does not make an allegation true.”

With the Parhat ruling, the government’s attempts to insist that any of the Uighurs were “enemy combatants” were clearly no longer tenable. At a hearing in August, when the idea was first floated that they should be released into the United States, Judge Urbina “hinted,” as the Washington Post described it, “that he was intrigued by the detainees’ proposal,” and stated, “I don’t understand why that would not be a viable option.”

The Justice Department did not respond directly to Judge Urbina’s comments, but its lawyers argued in court that only the President had the authority to allow the men into the United States. However, the Post explained that, although the issues were “complex,” legal scholars “generally disagreed with the government’s position, saying the judge has the ultimate authority” to decide whether to bring the men to the US mainland.

The Justice Department also insisted that the judge was legally prevented from ordering the Uighurs’ entry into the US if they had ties to terrorist groups. As Parhat v. Gates showed, however, neither Huzaifa Parhat nor, by extension, the other 12 men seized with him had ties to terrorist groups, and as the weeks passed the government fatally undermined its own arguments: first it announced, in belated response to the Parhat ruling, that it would not arrange a new trial for Parhat and that it would “serve no purpose” to continue trying to prove that he was an “enemy combatant”; then it did the same for four of his compatriots; and on September 30 it added the last 12 Uighurs to its list of non-combatants.

Welcome to America

As a result, Judge Urbina came to work on Tuesday facing a stark but simple decision: to obey the US Constitution or to turn his back on all he had been brought up to believe in.

He chose to obey the Constitution. Ordering the 17 men to be brought from Guantánamo to the courtroom on Friday, he indicated that he would release them to supporters in the United States — in Florida, and in the Washington D.C. area — who would look after them while the government worked out if it could come up with another solution that did not involve their continued imprisonment.

“I think the moment has arrived for the court to shine the light of constitutionality on the reasons for detention,” Judge Urbina stated, adding, “Because the Constitution prohibits indefinite detentions without cause, the continued detention is unlawful.”

He also explained, as the New York Times described it, that “the men had never fought the United States and were not a security threat,” and impatiently rejected a government request to stay his order to permit an immediate appeal. “All of this means more delay,” he said, “and delay is the name of the game up until this point.” Drawing on the historic right of a judge to demand that a prisoner be brought before him (the core, in fact, of habeas corpus, which means, literally, “you have the body”), he added, “I want to see the individuals.”

When the government suggested that immigration officials might detain the men on arrival in the United States, Judge Urbina snapped, “I do not expect these Uighurs will be molested by any member of the United States government. I’m a federal judge, and I’ve issued an order.” Crucially, as the Times put it, he “underscored the significance of his ruling with repeated references to the constitutional separation of powers and the judiciary’s role,” rejecting arguments put forward by the Justice Department as “assertions of executive power to detain people indefinitely without court review,” which, he said, were “not in keeping with our system of government.”

As the judge rose to leave the bench, the crowded courtroom burst into applause. Members of the Washington D.C. Uighur community, who settled here in the 1980s, when they fled Chinese oppression and were regarded as anti-Communist heroes, had come to lend support, and their offers of help — and those offered by community leaders from Tallahassee, Florida, who have also been involved in plans to welcome the Uighurs — were credited with helping the judge make his decision.

Nury Turkel, a D.C.-based aviation lawyer, explained, “Our community said, ‘We are here to help. Release them into our custody.’ We have people offering them places to stay, English training, employment. We don’t want anyone to think they will be a burden on society.”

Although the government immediately pledged that it would appeal Judge Urbina’s ruling, and the White House’s press secretary, Dana Perino, claimed, somewhat hysterically, that it “could be used as precedent for other detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, including sworn enemies of the United States suspected of planning the attacks of 9/11, who may also seek release into our country,” no decision had been made by the close of business on Wednesday.

As CNN reported, the government had filed an emergency motion, reiterating its argument that “only the executive branch, not the courts, may decide whether to admit an alien into the United States,” and insisting that Judge Urbina’s ruling “threatens serious harm to the interests of the United States and its citizens by mandating that the government release in the nation’s capital 17 individuals who engaged in weapons training at a military training camp.” In response, as the Associated Press reported, the prisoners stated that Judge Urbina had “made the right decision in ordering their release since they are no longer considered enemy combatants,” and their lawyers argued that delaying their release would mean that “the government would prolong by months, and perhaps years, an imprisonment whose legal justification it has conceded away.”

In the hope that justice will prevail, I leave the final word — for now — to Sabin Willett, a Boston-based lawyer who represents some of the Uighur prisoners. Willett and his colleagues have campaigned assiduously for their clients, and after arguing the case before Judge Urbina, he stated, with a dignity sorely lacking from the government’s rhetoric, “In the history of our Republic, the military never imprisoned any man so harshly, and for so long, let alone men who are not the enemy. We have broken faith with the rule of law, and been untrue to the generosity of spirit that is our national character.”

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed, and see here for my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009.

Note: The photo of Judge Urbina is by Charles Dharapak / Associated Press.

As published on Antiwar.com, CounterPunch, the Huffington Post and AlterNet.

For a sequence of articles dealing with the Uighurs in Guantánamo, see: The Guantánamo whistleblower, a Libyan shopkeeper, some Chinese Muslims and a desperate government (July 2007), Guantánamo’s Uyghurs: Stranded in Albania (October 2007), Former Guantánamo detainee seeks asylum in Sweden (November 2007), A transcript of Sabin Willett’s speech in Stockholm (November 2007), Support for ex-Guantánamo detainee’s Swedish asylum claim (January 2008), A Chinese Muslim’s desperate plea from Guantánamo (March 2008), Former Guantánamo prisoner denied asylum in Sweden (June 2008), Six Years Late, Court Throws Out Guantánamo Case (June 2008), Guantánamo as Alice in Wonderland (July 2008), Guantánamo Uyghurs’ resettlement prospects skewered by Justice Department lies (October 2008), A Pastor’s Plea for the Guantánamo Uyghurs (October 2008), Guantánamo: Justice Delayed or Justice Denied? (October 2008), Sabin Willett’s letter to the Justice Department (November 2008), Will Europe Take The Cleared Guantánamo Prisoners? (December 2008), A New Year Message to Barack Obama: Free the Guantánamo Uighurs (January 2009), Guantanamo’s refugees (February 2009), Bad News And Good News For The Guantánamo Uighurs (February 2009), and the stories in the additional chapters of The Guantánamo Files: Website Extras 1, Website Extras 6 and Website Extras 9.

For a sequence of articles dealing with the Guantánamo habeas cases, see: Guantánamo and the Supreme Court: the most important habeas corpus case in modern history and Guantánamo and the Supreme Court: What Happened? (both December 2007), The Supreme Court’s Guantánamo ruling: what does it mean? (June 2008), What’s Happening with the Guantánamo cases? (July 2008), Government Says Six Years Is Not Long Enough To Prepare Evidence (September 2008), Guilt By Torture: Binyam Mohamed’s Transatlantic Quest for Justice (November 2008), After 7 Years, Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo Kidnap Victims (November 2008), Is Robert Gates Guilty of Perjury in Guantánamo Torture Case? (December 2008), The Top Ten Judges of 2008 (January 2009), No End in Sight for the “Enemy Combatants” of Guantánamo (January 2009), Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo’s Forgotten Child (January 2009), How Cooking For The Taliban Gets You Life In Guantánamo (January 2009), Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics (February 2009), The Nobodies Formerly Known As Enemy Combatants (March 2009), Farce at Guantánamo, as cleared prisoner’s habeas petition is denied (April 2009), Obama’s First 100 Days: A Start On Guantánamo, But Not Enough (May 2009), Judge Condemns “Mosaic” Of Guantánamo Intelligence, And Unreliable Witnesses (May 2009), Pain At Guantánamo And Paralysis In Government (May 2009), Guantánamo: A Prison Built On Lies (May 2009), Free The Guantánamo Uighurs! (May 2009), Guantánamo And The Courts (Part One): Exposing The Bush Administration’s Lies (July 2009), Obama’s Failure To Deliver Justice To The Last Tajik In Guantánamo (July 2009), Obama And The Deadline For Closing Guantánamo: It’s Worse Than You Think (July 2009), How Judge Huvelle Humiliated The Government In Guantánamo Case (Mohamed Jawad, July 2009), As Judge Orders Release Of Tortured Guantánamo Prisoner, Government Refuses To Concede Defeat (Mohamed Jawad, July 2009), Guantánamo As Hotel California: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave (August 2009), Judge Orders Release From Guantánamo Of Kuwaiti Charity Worker (August 2009). Also see: Justice extends to Bagram, Guantánamo’s Dark Mirror (April 2009), Judge Rules That Afghan “Rendered” To Bagram In 2002 Has No Rights (July 2009).

48 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    Note: Early on the morning of October 9, just after this article was published, Reuters reported that a federal appeals court had temporarily blocked the Uighurs’ release, granting the government a stay until October 16, in order to give the court more time to consider the dispute. The three judges added, however, that the stay “should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits” of the government’s request.
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUKTRE497C0T20081008

  2. DhafirTrial » Chinese Muslims’ release into US blocked for now says...

    [...] also, From Guantánamo to the United States: The Story of the Wrongly Imprisoned Uighurs. [...]

  3. Kent says...

    Great story which — at least for the mid-term stay and Court of Appeals hearing — has a tragic twist.

    As one who witnessed the proceedings, Judge Urbina was a giant among men reflecting the best that this Republic has ever been.

  4. Uighurs in Guantanamo « The Lift - Legal Issues in the Fight against Terrorism says...

    [...] new CRS-report on US-China counterterrorism policies (dated 11/09/08) and Andy Worthington’s background story on the 17 [...]

  5. Wetensiz Uyghur says...

    Please set my 17 brothers from Guantanamo …..They r not enmy of USA and all western country ….we have only one enmy thats chinese government ,who was occpıed our motherland Eastern Turkistan (Uyghurstan)………Please Help us and understand us ……

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    After this article was published, I was interviewed by Mamatjan Juma for the Uyghur Service of Radio Free Asia, based in Washington D.C.
    The interview is in Uyghur, and it’s available here:
    http://www.rfa.org/uyghur/xewerler/tepsili_xewer/guantanamo-uyg-sodiye-aptor-10152008145809.html

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    I also received the following comment:

    Dear Andy,
    I’m a Uyghur and am currently an Associate at a DC-based boutique firm that is specialized in aviation and competition law. I’ve been working with the lawyers representing the Gitmo Uyghurs since 2005. I write to thank you for your timely and fact-based analysis of the issues involving the Uyghurs. I look forward to keeping in touch with you and thank you again for your important work to educating the public about the lawlessness in Gitmo.
    Best regards,
    Nury A. Turkel

  8. Perspectives on Global Issues Blog » Blog Archive » The Guantánamo Uyghurs: Still Waiting Seven Years Later says...

    [...] For more information on the Uyghurs in China, visit the Uyghur Human Rights Project where you will also find information on the Uyghurs in Guantánamo. For more information on the Uyghurs in Guantánamo, please see author and journalist Andy Worthington’s article. [...]

  9. Guantánamo: The Definitive Prisoner List (Part 1) « Muslim in Suffer says...

    [...] [...]

  10. A Letter To Barack Obama From A Guantánamo Uighur by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] and that, because no other country had been found that would accept them, they were to be admitted to the United States, to the care of communities in Washington and Tallahassee, Florida, who had prepared detailed plans [...]

  11. Obama’s First 100 Days: A Start On Guantánamo, But Not Enough « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] addition, the administration has dragged its heels over the Uighurs, Muslims from China’s Xinjiang province, who comprise 17 of the 23 prisoners whose release was [...]

  12. Guantánamo: A Real Uyghur Slams Newt Gingrich’s Racist Stupidity by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] Washington D.C., and Judges A. Raymond Randolph and Karen LeCraft Henderson in the appeals court. Judge Urbina ruled in October that the men’s continued detention was unconstitutional, and that they should be released into [...]

  13. Free The Guantánamo Uighurs! by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] of Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, and last October, in the District Court in Washington D.C., Judge Ricardo Urbina followed up on this historic decision by ruling that, because the Uighurs’ continued detention in Guantánamo [...]

  14. From Guantánamo To The South Pacific: Is This A Joke? by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] October, Judge Urbina ruled, very sensibly, that the Uighurs were to be allowed to resettle in the United States, in the care [...]

  15. Obama’s Confusion Over Guantánamo Terror Trials by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] persuade the Bush administration that they were not “enemy combatants”) to settle in the US, as ordered by a judge last October, has shown that he is susceptible to fearmongering by unscrupulous politicians, and [...]

  16. Emre says...

    Now all the world does not interest with Uighur Genocide but this horrible genocide will be reason very bloody world wars in immediate future….Then world nations will understand their mistake…

    This genocide is very much more bad than Nazi jewel genocide because China kill people since 1949 Mao time..Over 35 millions of Uighurs were killed..Genocide still going on…..

  17. Is The World Ignoring A Massacre of Uighurs In China? by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] — some of whom came to the attention of the West when 22 refugees were sold to US forces and imprisoned in Guantánamo — maintain that, as a result, they are marginalized and persecuted in their own [...]

  18. Guantánamo As Hotel California: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] on the part of the administration. Although 15 other prisoners cleared by the courts — 13 Uighurs, Sabir Lahmar, an Algerian, and Abdul Rahim al-Ginco, a Syrian — are awaiting new homes, because [...]

  19. Guantánamo And The Courts (Part Two): Obama’s Shame by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] in February, in the case of the Uighurs (Muslims from China’s oppressed Xinjiang province), which overturned Judge Urbina’s heroic ruling in October, when he ordered them to be brought to the US mainland because they could not be [...]

  20. Bagram Isn’t The New Guantánamo, It’s The Old Guantánamo « freedetainees.org says...

    [...] (July 2008), Government Says Six Years Is Not Long Enough To Prepare Evidence (September 2008), From Guantánamo to the United States: The Story of the Wrongly Imprisoned Uighurs (October 2008), Guantánamo Uyghurs’ resettlement prospects skewered by Justice Department lies [...]

  21. 75 Guantánamo Prisoners Cleared For Release; 31 Could Leave Today by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] then dithered, failing to support Guantánamo’s most celebrated innocents, the Uighurs, whose release into the United States was ordered by District Court Judge Ricardo Urbina last October, by backing the Court of Appeals in its [...]

  22. Finding New Homes For 44 Cleared Guantánamo Prisoners by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] 2008. 13 of these men are Uighurs — Muslims from China’s oppressed Xinjiang province, whose release was ordered by Judge Ricardo Urbina a year ago, and whose plight I have written about extensively (particularly [...]

  23. Senate Finally Allows Guantánamo Trials In US, But Not Homes For Innocent Men by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] from China’s Xinjiang province), who remain in Guantánamo, even though a District Court judge ordered their release into the United States over a year ago, after the Bush administration conceded that they had no connection with either [...]

  24. Six Uighurs Go To Palau; Seven Remain In Guantánamo by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] been waiting for three and a half months to be released, after District Court Judge Ricardo Urbina ordered their release into the United States in October 2008. Judge Urbina did so because the government had failed to [...]

  25. An Evening with Andy Worthington: “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo” « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] me recapping the stories of the Uighurs (Guantánamo’s prisoners from China), explaining how a judge ordered their release into the United States last October, how the Bush administration appealed this ruling, and how the Obama administration [...]

  26. Obama’s Failure To Close Guantánamo By January Deadline Is Disastrous by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] plan, missing the opportunity to bring a number of wrongly imprisoned men to the US mainland (the Uighurs, Muslims from China whose release into the US had been ordered by a District Court judge), and [...]

  27. Guantánamo: Idealists Leave Obama’s Sinking Ship by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] in the United States. The latter were the Uighurs, Muslims from China’s Xinjiang province whose release into the United States had been ordered in October 2008 by Judge Ricardo Urbina, after the Bush administration declined to challenge their [...]

  28. “Model Prisoner” at Guantánamo, Tortured in the “Dark Prison,” Loses Habeas Corpus Petition « freedetainees.org says...

    [...] (July 2008), Government Says Six Years Is Not Long Enough To Prepare Evidence (September 2008), From Guantánamo to the United States: The Story of the Wrongly Imprisoned Uighurs (October 2008), Guantánamo Uyghurs’ resettlement prospects skewered by Justice Department lies [...]

  29. Rubbing Salt in Guantanamo’s Wounds: Task Force Announces Indefinite Detentions | themcglynn.com/theliberal.net says...

    [...] in Guantánamo for an undefined amount of time. Back in October 2008, when Judge Ricardo Urbina ruled that 17 men from China (the Uighurs), who had won their habeas petitions, had to be rehoused in the [...]

  30. Obama’s Failure on Guantanamo | NW0.eu says...

    [...] province, whose only enemy was the Chinese government, and their release into the U.S. had been ordered by a judge in October 2008, even though the Court of Appeals, supported by both the Bush administration and [...]

  31. The Guantánamo Uyghurs: Still Waiting Seven Years Later | Perspectives on Global Issues says...

    [...] For more information on the Uyghurs in China, visit the Uyghur Human Rights Project where you will also find information on the Uyghurs in Guantánamo. For more information on the Uyghurs in Guantánamo, please see author and journalist Andy Worthington’s article. [...]

  32. Uighur Protest In Guantánamo: Photos by Andy Worthington + Bob Dylan: Subterranean Homesick Blues « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] they were “enemy combatants,” and despite the fact that District Court Judge Ricardo Urbina ordered their release into the United States last October. Judge Urbina based his ruling on several important facts — [...]

  33. AWorthington: Guantanamo Habeas Results, Prisoners 34 – Government 13 « On Now says...

    [...] my analysis of the ruling, see: From Guantánamo to the United States: The Story of the Wrongly Imprisoned Uighurs. For Judge Ricardo Urbina’s unclassified opinion, see here. And see here for a transcript of the [...]

  34. Guantanamo and Habeas Corpus : STATESMAN SENTINEL says...

    [...] (July 2008), Government Says Six Years Is Not Long Enough To Prepare Evidence (September 2008), From Guantánamo to the United States: The Story of the Wrongly Imprisoned Uighurs (October 2008), Guantánamo Uyghurs’ resettlement prospects skewered by Justice Department [...]

  35. Palau President Asks Australia to Offer Homes to Guantánamo Uighurs « freedetainees.org says...

    [...] permanent resettlement six Uighurs (Muslims from China’s oppressed Xinjiang province), who were cleared for release from Guantánamo by a US court in October 2008, and given temporary residence in Palau on October 31 last [...]

  36. No Escape From Guantánamo: Uighurs Lose Again in US Court » World Uyghur Congress says...

    [...] petitions reached a US court in October 2008, and Judge Ricardo Urbina granted their petitions and ordered their release into the United States. Judge Urbina concluded that their continued detention was unconstitutional, and that the US had an [...]

  37. ¿Sabe realmente Obama, le preocupa acaso, quién sigue en Guantánamo? | Amauta says...

    [...] al-Qaida ni con los talibanes y, en octubre de 2008, fueron los primeros hombres en conseguir sus peticiones de habeas corpus después de que el Tribunal Supremo dictaminara tres meses antes que los prisioneros de Guantánamo [...]

  38. Judge Denies Habeas Petition of Afghan Shopkeeper at Guantánamo « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] the first in the case of an Afghan, and the 16th victory for the government, in the two years since the first habeas ruling took place. The ruling was part of a process that has, to date, resulted in judges granting a significantly [...]

  39. Swiss Take Two Guantánamo Uighurs, Save Obama from Having to Do the Right Thing « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] Ricardo Urbina, a US District Court judge, ruled on their long-delayed habeas corpus petitions, and ordered their release into the United States, because no other country had been found that would take them, and because their continued [...]

  40. The Black Hole of Guantanamo | STATESMAN SENTINEL says...

    [...] 2009, 23 prisoners won their habeas petitions, and just three cases were won by the government. In the case of 17 Uighurs (Muslims from China’s Xinjiang province), the government gave up all pretense that they were [...]

  41. Abandonment Of Guantánamo’s Uighurs - OpEd says...

    [...] that any of the 17 were “enemy combatants,” and paved the way for the remaining Uighurs to win their habeas corpus petition in October 2008, when Judge Ricardo Urbina ordered their release into the United States, because no other home had [...]

  42. Uighur prisoner asks what is the difference between the US constitution and the Communist constitution? by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    [...] combatants,” but appealed when, ruling on their habeas corpus petitions, Judge Ricardo Urbina ordered their release into the United States, because they could not be returned to China, where there were fears that they would be tortured, [...]

  43. WikiLeaks And The 22 Children Of Guantanamo says...

    [...] 2006 in Albania. One of 22 Uighurs (Muslims from China’s oppressed Xinjiang province), who were detained by mistake, as they never had any affiliation with either al-Qaeda or the Taliban, and were solely opposed to [...]

  44. democraciaglobal.net » Guantanamo Lawyer on Judicial Presumption of Gov’t Secret Evidence (the Latif ruling) says...

    [...] Lawfare, &#1072nd &#1072r&#1077 th&#1077 comments &#959f Guantanamo attorney Sabin Willett, wh&#959 represented th&#1077 Uighurs &#1110n th&#1077 Parhat &#1072nd Kiyemba [...]

  45. Guantánamo: Who Are The Two Uighurs Freed In El Salvador, And Why Are 87 Men Cleared For Release Still Held? « EUROPE TURKMEN FRIENDSHIPS says...

    [...] to drop its claims that any of them were “enemy combatants.” When Judge Ricardo Urbina ordered their release on October 7, 2008, after granting their habeas corpus petitions, he intended for them to be [...]

  46. Guantánamo Scandal: The 40 Prisoners Still Held But Cleared for Release At Least Five Years Ago | Wikileaks Australian Citizens Alliance says...

    [...] the Control of Another Country for Continued Detention (TRCD),” dated February 14, 2004. Abbas had his habeas corpus petition granted in October 2008, when Judge Ricardo Urbina ordered his release into the US along with 16 other [...]

  47. The Black Hole of Guantánamo by Andy Worthington | Dandelion Salad says...

    […] 2009, 23 prisoners won their habeas petitions, and just three cases were won by the government. In the case of 17 Uighurs (Muslims from China’s Xinjiang province), the government gave up all pretense that they were […]

  48. An Evening with Andy Worthington: “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo” | Dandelion Salad says...

    […] me recapping the stories of the Uighurs (Guantánamo’s prisoners from China), explaining how a judge ordered their release into the United States last October, how the Bush administration appealed this ruling, and how the Obama administration […]

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert
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