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The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by Chinese Muslims who still are being held at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, even though the Pentagon has determined they are not threats to the United States.
The high court said Tuesday it agreed to hear the case of the 13 Uighurs, who China has accused of being terrorists.
A U.S. federal judge had ordered the Uighurs be released into the United States. But an appeals court overturned that decision, saying the judge did not have the authority to make such an order.
The men are from China's western Xinjiang province, which is dominated by Uighurs.
Washington fears the Uighurs will be persecuted if they are returned to China.
The 13 detainees are part of a group of 17 Uighurs captured in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2001. Beijing accuses the group of violent separatism in pursuit of an independent "East Turkestan" and has been pressing for their return to China.
The Obama administration has been negotiating with several nations to take the Uighurs. Earlier this year, four Uighurs were relocated to Bermuda. In June, the Pacific Island nation of Palau agreed to at least temporarily accept the remaining men.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.