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Supreme Court refuses to hear Chinese Gitmo detainee case before appeals court

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday refused to hear the appeal of two Chinese Uighur detainees who continue to be held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] despite a determination that they are not enemy combatants. In December, US District Court Judge James Robertson ruled [opinion, PDF] that the Uighurs' detention was unlawful, but that the courts had no relief to offer the men as they could be tortured if released to China due to their Muslim faith [HRW report]. The detainees' lawyers appealed directly to the Supreme Court [JURIST report], but the Court on Monday denied certiorari, indicating that it would not hear the case before the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit considered the case.

A Guantanamo Combatant Status Review Tribunal [DOD materials] determined last March that the men were no longer deemed enemy combatants [CCR materials; JURIST report]. Though efforts have been made to improve conditions of their detention [JURIST report], US officials have been unwilling to return the men to China where they could face torture, and authorities have been unsuccessful in finding a country willing to provide refuge to the men. German media reported last week that the US has asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel to accept the detainees [JURIST report], but there has not been word whether Germany has agreed to any such request. AP has more. Read the Court's full Order List [PDF]

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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