East Turkestan: Guantánamo Detainees in Court
In the oral argument this morning, the judges challenged Robert Loeb, the Department of Justice attorney, when he claimed that a detainee would have "no legal recourse" to challenge his transfer even if he were not an enemy combatant and it was known that he was going to be subjected to torture at his final destination. Loeb characterized the challenge of their transfer to a place where they might be tortured, killed, or arbitrarily detained as an attempt to "micromanage" government actions when the government is providing detainees "what they want." According to detainees' counsel, the men do not wish to stay at Guantánamo, but want the opportunity to express any concerns they have about any pending transfer to a country where they might face torture.
"Given the transfer of five Uighur detainees to
In its 2004 decision in CCR's landmark case, Rasul v. Bush, the Supreme Court recognized the right of the detainees to challenge their detention in a court of law. Nine days later the Department of Defense created the Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRT) which presumed the guilt of detainees, denied them access to attorneys, and permitted evidence they were barred from reviewing, precisely the issues ruled on in the 2006 decision in Hamdan addressing the military commissions. Despite these conditions, two of the petitioners-Zakirjan Hassam and Ala Abdel Maqsud Muhammad Salim-were classified by the CSRT's as 'not enemy combatants' and entitled to be released.
Mr. Hassam is a refugee who had settled in
The Uighurs all individually fled religious and ethnic persecution in
CCR Legal Director Bill Goodman stated: "That this is a policy of arbitrary detention could not be any clearer. Men who have been wrongly held for four years must be granted their day in court and must not be exposed to further risk of torture."CCR Cooperating Counsel today includes Chris Moore, of the law firm Cleary Gottlieb, and Sabin Willett of Bingham McCutchen