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DOJ defends detention of Uighur at Guantanamo

[JURIST] Lawyers for the US Department of Justice [official website] defended the six-year detention of Huzaifa Parhat, a Chinese Uighur Muslim, at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] in oral arguments before the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] Friday. The US claims Parhat is an "enemy combatant" due to his ties with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) [MIPT backgrounder], a militant group that calls for separation from China and was designated as a terrorist group by the US government in 2002. The DOJ acknowledged that Parhat did not fight against the US and that there is no evidence that he intended to do so, but said he can still be held under the Authorization for Use of Military Force Act of 2001 [SJ Res 23 materials] because ETIM is affiliated with al Qaeda.

In 2006, five Chinese Uighur detainees were released to Albania [JURIST report], where officials reviewed applications for asylum. The transfer, which was criticized by China, ended a court challenge against the detainees' indefinite detention [JURIST reports]. In December 2006, lawyers for seven Uighur detainees filed a lawsuit [JURIST report], arguing that the process by which they were determined to be enemy combatants was flawed. AP has more.

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