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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Amnesty International Thrilled by Constitutional Victory in the Uighur Detainees' Case

7 Oct 2008
Region: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Topic: Fight Against Terrorism and Human Rights
Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA, issued the following statement in response to the decision by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to allow the 17 remaining Uighur Guantanamo detainees to be released into the United States while their habeas corpus cases are decided.
All these men were ruled to be non-enemy combatants by the U.S. Department of Defense:

"Today's decision is a huge victory for the rule of law and fundamental liberties. However, this decision will mean little to the detainees if it is ignored, as other court opinions have been in practice by the Bush administration. These detainees have been held more than five years without charge or trial. This U.S. court asserted that there are limits to executive power and ultimately--the U.S. Constitution means something.

"How many times does the Bush administration need to be told that detainees are entitled to essential rights? All the remaining detainees in Guantanamo Bay must be either charged and tried or released immediately. Amnesty International urges the U.S. government to ensure the safety of these detainees.

"When the presiding judge, Judge Ricardo Urbina, said 'the separation of powers doesn't trump the right to liberty,' he spoke for millions of Americans."

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.2 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

Contact: AIUSA media office, 202-544-0200 x302, lspann@aiusa.org

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

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