WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from two Chinese Muslims who were mistakenly captured as enemy combatants more than four years ago and are being held at the U.S. prison in Cuba.
The men's plight has posed a dilemma for the Bush administration and courts. Previously, a federal judge said the detention of the ethnic Uighurs in Guantanamo Bay is unlawful, but that there was nothing federal courts could do.
Lawyers for the two contend they should be released, something the Bush administration opposes.
A year ago, the military decided that Abu Bakker Qassim and A'Del Abdu al-Hakim are not "enemy combatants" as first suspected after their 2001 arrests in Pakistan. They were captured and shipped to Guantanamo Bay along with hundreds of other suspected terrorists.
The U.S. government has been unable to find a country willing to accept the two men, along with other Uighurs. They cannot be returned to China because they likely will be tortured or killed.
German officials are being pressed to take them, according to a report over the weekend in a newspaper there.