January 24, 2009
Letter to Obama Administration Urging Uighur Release
I posted here yesterday that attorneys for the 17 Chinese Uighurs held at Guantanamo Bay, and whose habeas case is now on appeal to the D.C. Circuit, asked President Obama to release them into the United States, consistent with District Judge Urbina's order.
We write because, as to our seventeen Uighur clients, there is no need to review whether they should be imprisoned [under the new EO]. The executive branch, the judiciary, and members of Congress all have acknowledged that the Uighurs should be released. The issue for the Obama Administration is not whether the Uighurs should be released, but rather where they should be released.
We urge the government to release the Uighurs immediately in the only place they can be released--the United States. Not only would this be just, but it is in our national interest. By accepting the Uighurs, we would encourage other countries to accept the significant number of Guantanamo detainees who are cleared for release but who cannot be repatriated. Bringing the Uighurs here is thus an important early step toward carrying out President Obama's Executive Order and removing a stain on our National character. . . .
We are amenable to the imposition of reasonable release conditions, such as, for example, monitoring by the Court in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security.
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