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Appeals Court Blocks Release of 17 Guantanamo Detainees

Posted Oct 9, 2008 5:40 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A federal appeals court has blocked a judge's order requiring the release of 17 Chinese Muslims at Guantanamo into the United States.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a temporary stay yesterday, according to the New York Times and Washington Post. The Justice Department had opposed the order by U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina, saying the detainees had “trained for armed insurrection against their home country.”

Lawyers for the detainees countered that the government was resorting to “scare tactics in the form of innuendo and unsubstantiated, exaggerated and false rhetoric,” the Times story says.

The court said the temporary stay should not be construed as a ruling on the merits of a longer delay, SCOTUSblog reports.

Urbina had ruled the Constitution bars the government from holding the men indefinitely since the government no longer considers them enemy combatants. The men cannot be sent to China because it considers them terrorists and might torture them.

The men, known as Uighurs, support an independent homeland from China.

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