Justice Department Wants To Keep Gitmo Uighurs Behind Bars

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Yesterday, a federal judge ordered the release of 17 detainees — ethnic Uighurs from western China who were captured during fighting in Afghanistan — being held at Guantanamo Bay. It was the first time a court had ordered the release of any detainees from Guantanamo.

But in a statement released last night, the Department of Justice said that the ruling “presents serious national security and separation of powers concerns” and announced that DOJ is filing an emergency appeal to ensure the men stay behind bars.

The statement also alleged that the men “have admitted to receiving weapons training at camps in Afghanistan.” But this summer, a panel of judges found that the evidence on which that conclusion was based came from classified documents that “do not state (or, in most instances, even describe) the sources or rationales for those statements.”

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