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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Chinese Guantanamo detainees file lawsuit seeking release
Jeannie Shawl at 7:23 AM ET

[JURIST] Lawyers for several Chinese detainees still held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] have filed a lawsuit in US federal court seeking their release due to the flawed process by which they were determined to be enemy combatants. The group of seven ethnic Uighurs were deemed enemy combatants by Guantanamo's Combatant Status Review Tribunals [DOD materials], while five other Uighurs were cleared and subsequently released [JURIST report] from Guantanamo Bay. The new lawsuit alleges that the CSRTs relied on essentially the same evidence that was used to clear the five, and asserts that the detainees continue to be held as the result of a political agreement between China and the US.

The US military's combatant status reviews were determined to be "show trials" [PDF text; JURIST report] by a Seton Hall law professor who analyzed transcripts and recordings of 393 detainee hearings. Mark Denbeaux's report concluded that detainees were not given adequate opportunity to contest the accusations against them or to object to their status as enemy combatants [JURIST news archive]. The report also noted that the government did not present witnesses at the hearings, denied all detainee requests to examine classified evidence against them and denied all requests for defense witnesses not housed at Guantanamo Bay. AP has more. The Washington Post has additional coverage.

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