Lawyers for the US Department of Justice defended the six-year detention of Huzaifa Parhat, a Chinese Uighur Muslim, at Guantanamo Bay in oral arguments before the US Court of Appeals. The US claims Parhat is an “enemy combatant” due to his ties with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a group that calls for independence from China and was designated a terrorist organisation by the US State Department in 2002. The DoJ acknowledged that Parhat did not fight against the US and that there is no evidence that he intended to do so, but said he can still be held under the 2001 Authorisation for Use of Military Force Act because ETIM is affiliated with al-Qaeda.
In 2006, five Chinese Uighur detainees were released to Albania, where officials reviewed applications for asylum. The transfer, which was criticised by China, ended a court challenge against the detainees’ indefinite detention. In December 2006, lawyers for seven Uighur detainees filed a lawsuit, arguing that the process by which they were determined to be “enemy combatants” was flawed.