A federal judge is considering ordering the release of two Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo Bay, which would be an unprecedented step in the legal battles surrounding the Bush administration's treatment of detainees.
U.S. District Judge James Robertson raised the possibility, eight months after the U.S. military found the two men were not enemy combatants.
A Justice Department lawyer told the judge at a hearing this week that the Bush administration is still trying to find a country that will take the ethnic Uighurs, who say they fear torture or death if they are returned to China. The Uighurs are Turkic-speaking Muslims in western China, who have a language and culture distinct from the majority Chinese.
"We are going nuts here. Why are we still here? What kind of law exists in America to allow this to happen?" court papers in the case quote one of the detainees as saying.