On October 7, 2008, a judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the release 17 Uighur detainees from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, ruling that the Constitution forbids their indefinite detention without cause. Judge Ricardo Urbina gave the government until the end of the week to release the Chinese Muslims into the US, marking the first time that a US court ordered Guantanamo detainees to be freed. The judge further ordered immigration authorities not to take the Uighurs into custody upon their arrival in the US. The case was later reversed by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and remanded by the US Supreme Court in Kiyemba v. Obama.
Learn more about Uighur detainees at Guantanamo Bay from the JURIST news archive.