[JURIST] Three Chinese Uighur Muslims held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archives] since 2001 have agreed to be relocated to Palau [AP report], their lawyers told the Associated Press Wednesday. The detainees have been cleared for transfer since District Judge Ricardo Urbina ordered their release [JURIST report] from Guantanamo last October, but difficulties in finding an appropriate place to relocate them have impeded their release. The lawyer for two of the Uighurs, George Clarke, indicated that the three men may be relocated as early as October, but the spokesperson for Palau President Johnson Toribong, would not confirm [Times report] the impending transfer.
At the close of its 2008 session, the US Supreme Court still had not ruled on an appeal [JURIST report] by the Uighurs still in captivity to gain their release. The appeal followed a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to stay the release [JURIST report] ordered by Urbina last October. Amid the legal wrangling over the Uighurs in the US, the Chinese government has repeatedly called for the detainees to be repatriated to China [JURIST report], a request the US has been reluctant to accommodate. Toribong offered to accept the Uighurs in June while four Uighurs were transferred to Bermuda [JURIST reports] that month. There are 13 Uighurs still at Guantanamo Bay.