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Appeals court blocks release of Guantanamo detainees
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of McClatchy Newspapers

McClatchy Newspapers, October 8, 2008
Posted: October 17th, 2008

A federal appeals court temporarily blocked the release of 17 Chinese-born Muslims detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a day after a landmark decision required them to be shipped to the U.S. The move Wednesday night by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sets the stage for a protracted court battle over the fate of the men, who've been held for nearly seven years despite being cleared for release by the U.S. military. Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina had ordered the Bush administration to transfer the men to the U.S. by Friday. The Justice Department had launched a down-to-the wire effort to stop the release of the men from the ethnic Uighur minority by seeking an emergency delay of the ruling. If the court had refused to act, the Bush administration had threatened to ask the Supreme Court to intervene. Attorneys for the group, however, reacted with disappointment. "Seventeen men were told yesterday that they were going to be released after nearly seven years of wrongful detention," said Emi MacLean, an attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which coordinates the representation of detainees including the Uighurs. "Now, they have to be told that their detention will continue to be indefinite." Urbina's decision marked the first time a court had ordered the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. and could have prompted the release of others who've been cleared by the military. Urbina declared the continued detention of the Uighurs to be "unlawful" and said the government could no longer detain them after conceding they weren't enemy combatants.

Note: For many reports on the Bush/Cheney administration's unlawful denials of civil liberties, click here.

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