(CN) – The federal government doesn’t have to give Chinese Muslim detainees a 30-day notice of where they will be sent when released from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, the D.C. Circuit ruled.
The ruling overturns a federal judge’s order requiring the government to give a month’s notice before releasing nine Turkic Muslims, known as Uighurs. The detainees, who are no longer considered enemy combatants, argued that they might need time to challenge the government’s decision of where they will go, in case it’s a hostile country where they would face persecution.
The federal appeals court in the nation’s capital relied on the government’s promise to take the detainees’ safety into account in making the decision.
“The government has declared its policy not to transfer a detainee to a country that likely will torture him, and the district court may not second-guess the government’s assessment of that likelihood,” Judge Ginsburg wrote.
In dissent, Judge Thomas Griffith said he believed that last year’s Supreme Court decision granting Guantanamo detainees the right to challenge their detentions “requires that the detainees have notice of their transfers and some opportunity to challenge the government’s assurances.”