Supreme Court to hear Uighur Gitmo detainees' appeal
The US Supreme Court on Oct. 20 agreed to hear Kiyemba v. Obama, in which the court will consider whether a group of 13 Uighur detainees at Guantánamo Bay can be released into the US. In February, a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed an October 2008 district court order that would have provided for their release.
The DC Circuit found that admission of aliens into the US was a decision for either the executive or legislative branch, and no statutory or constitutional right was being denied to the detainees. Last month, US Solicitor General Elena Kagan told the Supreme Court that the US plans to transfer up to eight of the remaining 13 Uighur detainees to Palau and that six have already agreed to the transfer. According to the letter, the government of Palau is willing to accept 12 of the 13 Uighurs still at Guantánamo. Four Uighur detainees were transferred to Bermuda in June. (Jurist, Oct. 20)