The U.S. Supreme Court passed on a chance to hear the second Kiyemba v. Obama, a case involving four of the Chinese Muslims, or Uighurs, detained at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Denying certiorari this morning, the Court let stand a lower court's decision that federal judges have no authority to review the executive branch's determinations where and when to send detainees cleared for release.
The Court previously granted review in Kiyemba I, in which Uighurs challenged their continued detention at Guantanamo despite being cleared for release. Upon news that the executive branch found countries willing to accept each of the Uighur detainees, however, the Court remanded the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In Kiyemba II, non-Uighurs who are also slated for release to countries previously announced by the administration also joined the case.
Among the most promising plaintiffs to join Kiyemba II was Ahmed Belbacha, according to reports. Belbacha, who the executive branch says it will release to his native Algeria, alleges that his life was threatened by terrorists there. He also contends that the Algerian military considers him a desserter, and he was tried and convictied in absentia for terrorism-related charges carrying a 20-year sentence. "Caught between domestic terror groups and a government that has already decreed a harsh sanction for him, Mr. Belbacha cannot safely return to Algeria," his attorneys told a district court earlier this month.