More than a year ago I wrote about a group of Uighurs (a Chinese ethinic group), that were being held at Guantanamo Bay. The US had released some of them, but they had no place to go. They would be persecuted in China, and few countries would grant them residency. The US sent 5 of them to Albania, but had been unable to find countries willing to accept the other 17.
Yesterday, the New York Times reported on a new ruling the the case. (Story here) Judge Ricardo M. Urbana annouced that the men would be released into the care of supporters living in the US. In my opinion, this is great news for people that have spent years in unjust captivity, and a serious blow to the misguided policies of the Bush administration.
One unresolved problem is that the Uighurs have no legal status in the US. Potentially, they could be picked up by US immigration. Judge Urbana said that no member of the US government should molest the freed men, but they have no real protection beyond the order of a federal district judge.
The White House Press Secretary stated that the administration “disagrees with” the decision, as it could be used as a precedent to free other detainees. We can only hope.