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Chinese Gitmo Detainees Free, But Not Free Yet

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If a U.S. district judge had had his way a group of Chinese Muslims being held at Guantanamo Bay would be free this morning. Earlier this week, D.C.-based judge Ricardo Urbina ordered the release of 17 Uighur detainees. The group had been accused of participating in weapons training in Afghanistan. His orders came after the U.S. Justice Department filed notice that the Uighurs are no longer considered enemy combatants. Despite those moves, the government continues to insist they remain in custody.

The Uighurs' case is just one among dozens being reviewed by federal judges after the Supreme Court ruled this past June that foreign detainees at Guantanamo have the right to legally challenge their imprisonment. Joseph Margulies is familiar with this case and many others at Guantanamo. He's an attorney with the Roderick MacArthur Justice Center and a professor at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago. Margulies has defended a number of Guantanamo detainees and has played a role in challenging the Bush Administration's post-9/11 detention policy. He discusses the significance of this case.

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