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Supreme Court seeks guidance on Uighur case after Swiss transfer announcement

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] Friday ordered [text, PDF] the Obama administration and lawyers for Chinese Uighurs detained at Guantanamo Bay to file briefs explaining how [AP report] Switzerland's decision to accept [JURIST report] two Uighurs as refugees affects their pending habeas petition [petitioner's brief, PDF; government brief in opposition, PDF]. The Court originally granted certiorari [JURIST report] in Kiyemba v. Obama [docket; Center for Constitutional Rights backgrounder] to determine whether it is within the power of the judicial branch to order the release of detainees into the United States. The Department of Justice argued last week that the Uighurs appeals were moot [JURIST report] after Switzerland announced its decision to accept the two Uighurs into its Country

The Obama administration has refused to repatriate [BBC report] the Chinese Uighurs due to fears that they may be mistreated in China, where they are considered terrorists. Of the 22 Uighurs originally detained at Guantanamo Bay, 17 have been relocated to other countries. Six Uighurs were transferred to Palau , four to Bermuda, five to Albania [JURIST reports], and two were accepted by Switzerland last week despite objections [Reuters report] from the Chinese government. Palau announced last week that it would accept [AFP report] the remaining five Uighurs.

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