30 Suffolk Transnat'l L. Rev. 365 (2006-2007)
Innocent at Guantanamo Bay: Granting Political Asylum to Unlawfully Detained Uighur Muslims

handle is hein.journals/sujtnlr30 and id is 369 raw text is: INNOCENT AT GUANTANAMO BAY:
GRANTING POLITICAL ASYLUM TO
UNLAWFULLY DETAINED
UIGHUR MUSLIMS
I. INTRODUCTION
The United States currently detains several Uighur Muslims
at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, despite knowing they do not pose
any threat to the United States or its allies in the war on terror.'
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, those sus-
pected of terrorism were detained at military prisons opened at
Guantanamo Bay.2 The United States has released many de-
tainees after clearing them of terrorism charges, however, a
number of Uighur Muslims from China's northwestern province
of Xinjian remain in custody.3 These Uighur people fear repa-
triation to their home country where their communist govern-
ment has imprisoned and tortured others from their region.4
The U.S. government has not found a country willing to accept
1. See Ellen Bork, Men Without a Country, WEEKLY STANDARD, August 15,
2005, available at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/0O00/000/
005/937qsgpy.asp (stating government's knowledge of Uighurs in Guantanamo and
lack of threat); see also Editorial, Ready To Be Freed, But Nowhere To Go; U.S. Run-
ning Out Of Options For Detainees, ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Oct. 19, 2006, at 45A
(questioning U.S. detainment of innocent prisoners); Robin Wright, Chinese Detain-
ees are Men Without a Country; 15 Muslims, Cleared of Terrorism Charges, Remain at
Guantanamo With Nowhere to Go, WASH. POST, August 24, 2005, at Al (describing
detainees as men without country); Petition for Immediate Release and Other Relief
Under Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, And, In the Alternative, For Writ of Habeas
Corpus, $$ 6, 56, and 85, Parhat v. Gates, No. 06-1397 (D.C. Cir. Dec. 4, 2006) [here-
inafter Petition for Immediate Release] (confirming innocence of Uighur detainees).
The Uighurs are a small minority group in China; the word Uighurs is pronounced
WEE-gurs. Bella English, Lawyer of the Lost, BOSTON GLOBE, Feb. 8, 2006, at D1.
2. See Juan R. Torruella, On the Slippery Slopes of Afghanistan: Military Com-
missions and the Exercise of Presidential Power, 4 U. PA. J. CONST. L. 648, 702 (2002)
(explaining use of Guantanamo Bay for detention). On September 11, 2001, a fear of
terrorism swept across nations. See Katharine Q. Seelye & Elisabeth Bumiller, After
the Attacks: The President; Bush Labels Aerial Terrorist Attacks 'Acts of War,' N.Y.
TIMES, Sept. 13, 2001, at A16. As a response to that fear, and in an effort to prevent
further acts of terrorism, the U.S. government declared a war on terror. See Seelye,
supra, at A16 (acknowledging President Bush's declaration of war on terror).
3. See Bork, supra note 1 (reporting Uighurs' choice of prison camp or China).
4. See Wright, supra note 1 (noting Uighurs' fear of returning to China).

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