High Court Dismisses Chinese Muslims' Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal from the seven Chinese Muslims detainees who remain at Guantanamo Bay because they all have been offered another place to live.

The justices say in a brief order Monday that lower courts should take a new look at the detainees' case.

The case, Kiyemba et al. v Obama, et al. (08-1234), was originally taken to hear whether a federal court had the right to order the release of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay whose detentions are indefinite and without authorization in law, and where release into the continental U.S. "is the only possible effective remedy."

Because several of the detainees have accepted offers of asylum from other governments, the justices said no court has yet ruled on the case in light of these new developments, "and we decline to be the first to do so."

The case was remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The court had been scheduled to hear arguments on March 23 about whether a federal judge could order detainees released into the United States.

The Obama administration asked for the dismissal, over the objection of the detainees' lawyers, after Switzerland said it would accept two Chinese Muslim brothers, one of whom had been cleared for release but had no place to go.

The Swiss government last month approved the resettlement of the two Chinese inmates as part of its commitment to help President Obama's administration close the detention center.

Beijing had objected to the move, calling the brothers terrorist suspects who should face justice in China.

The other five Chinese Muslims, or Uighurs, at the U.S. naval base in Cuba had previously been invited to resettle in the Pacific island nation of Palau.