WASHINGTON (CN) – The Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Wednesday stayed a federal judge’s order that the Bush administration free 17 prisoners from Guantanamo. U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina ordered the government to bring the prisoners to his court Friday, saying the administration had not proved they had broken any laws or were “unlawful enemy combatants.”
The three-judge appeals panel gave the Justice Department and the Uighurs’ attorneys until Oct. 16 to submit briefs.
The Uighurs, Muslims who lived in China, face torture if deported there, Urbina said, so they must be released in the United States. Their supporters say a Pakistani tribe sold the men to the U.S. military for the U.S.-offered bounty of $5,000 apiece.
Urbina’s order on Tuesday set the Bush administration into a tizzy.