A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Sweden court grants asylum to former Uighur Guantanamo detainee

[JURIST] Sweden's Migration Court [official website, in Swedish] on Wednesday granted [judgment, PDF, in Swedish; press release, in Swedish] asylum to former Uighur Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Adil Hakimjan [BBC backgrounder], also known as Adel Abdu Al-Hakim. The decision overruled a previous ruling by the Swedish Migration Board denying Hakimjan asylum. Hakimjan, who was held at Guantanamo Bay for nearly five years, was one of five Uighurs released [JURIST report] in 2006 who were granted asylum in Albania. Hakimjan had applied for asylum in Sweden because he has a sister living there. The court cited the family relationship, the humanitarian nature of the request, and Hakimjan's detention at Guantanamo Bay as reasons for granting him residence as a refugee.

Also on Wednesday a panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] reversed [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] an October district court order [opinion and order, PDF; JURIST report] that would have provided for the release of 17 Uighur Guantanamo Bay detainees into the US. The US government has determined that the Uighurs are not unlawful enemy combatants [10 USC § 948a text; JURIST news archive], but it has linked them with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) [CFR backgrounder], a militant group that calls for separation from China and has been a US-designated terrorist group since 2002. Earlier this month, China renewed its demand [JURIST report] for the Uighurs to be repatriated. Despite the demands, the US government has been hesitant to release the Uighurs back to China, fearing they will be tortured upon their return.

About Paper Chase

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.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.