Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Two noncombatants held at Guantánamo Bay for their own good

Abu Bakker Qassim and Adel Abdu al-Hakim have been held at Guantánamo Bay for nearly a year since a military panel ruled that they were noncombatants, not terrorists, and no threat to the United States. They are being held because they are members of the Uighur minority from western China, a religious and ethnic group that has been the subject of abuses by the Chinese government. If they were to be sent home, they could be abused and tortured.

But they cannot be allowed to enter the United States, either, because that would set a bad legal precedent. A U.S. federal court judge "ruled that they were being held illegally, but he said he was powerless to order their release." The Supreme Court has declined to hear the detainees' appeal, but on May 8 an appeals court panel will determine whether federal judges have any power to intervene.

So they remain imprisoned indefinitely at Guantánamo Bay.

(More detail at Sheldon Richman's Free Association blog.)

No comments: