Although the Pentagon cleared Chinese Muslim in 2004, a number of them are still being held at Guantanamo Bay (photo, from bbc.co.uk).
The US Supreme Court has said it will hear a case about the rights of ethnic Uighurs detained at the prison.
The court’s decision will be about allowing or not federal judges to order the Uighurs’ release into the US when no other country can be found to take them.
In February, an appeal court ruled that federal judges didn’t have that power, arguing that only the executive branch, not the judiciary, could make decisions on immigration.
US President Barack Obama wants to close Guantanamo by early next year.
No going back to China
In the meantime, the Obama administration has been trying to find a place for the remaining Uighur detainees to go.
In 2006, five Uighurs went to Albania.
In June, another four were sent to Bermuda. The Pacific island nation of Palau has said it will take 12 of the remaining 13.
Only one Uighur has not been offered a refuge in another country, his lawyer told the court.
However some of the Uighurs invited to go to Palau have expressed concern about the island being too close to China to be safe, as the country considers them to be separatists.
Expressing fear that they would be tortured or executed, the US has said it will not send the Uighurs back to China, though Beijing demands their handover. China says the detainees are leading an Islamic separatist movement in western China.
The group of 22 Chinese Muslims were captured in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2001.