For Immediate Release: April 22, 2009
Washington, DC – Human Rights First today welcomed the Obama Administration’s reported decision to bring up to 7 Chinese Uighurs currently held at Guantanamo Bay into the U.S. The men, who have been held for seven years, had their “enemy combatant” designation reversed in 2004. They were then cleared for release but were not returned to China for fear that they would be abused upon their return.
“President Obama acted on a judgment made years ago bythe Bush Administration that these men never participated in hostilities againstthe United States. Their prolonged and arbitrary detention was unjust and unnecessary, and for that, they should be compensated,” said Devon Chaffee, Human Rights First advocacy counsel. “By bringing these seven men into the U.S., the Obama Administration has demonstrated it is willing to act on its commitment to uphold due process and the rule of law. This is an important step towards closing Guantanamo and restoring America