Urbina Frees the Uighurs


Applause erupted in a packed courtroom today after Judge Ricardo Urbina ordered the government to bring 17 Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo for the past seven years into his courtroom at 10am Friday.  The Uighur detainees, whom the government concedes are not enemy combatants, have no country willing to take them in, and return to China would likely mean imprisonment or worse.

Judge further ordered that the Uighurs are not to be questioned or detained by immigration officials. “Nothing will happen to these people,” he said.

The government is likely to seek a stay of the order from the Court of Appeals.

Washington Post story is here.

Art Lien

Courtartist is me, Art Lien. I've been sketching the courts since 1976, and for most of that time the U.S. Supreme Court has been my regular beat. I've been working almost exclusively for NBC News since 1980. Courtroom sketching is a form of visual journalism or reportage drawing that is slowly dying out. Where once upon a time news organization each had their own artist covering a story, today a "pool" artist often sketches for all. It is a demanding and stressful discipline where the drawing is often done directly and under tight deadline.

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2 comments on “Urbina Frees the Uighurs
  1. Avatar Sage Harris says:

    Hi! Wow, your work it’s wonderful, I love all your sketches, they’re so clean and so real. I’m a graphic design student and I will love to sketch like that someday. ¿How long you take to make one? and ¿why use sketches instead of pictures?

    Greetings from Venezuela!

    • Art Lien Art Lien says:

      Greetings from U.S.!

      Sorry I’m so late with a reply. Did not see you comment. To answer your questions, the larger drawings can take two hours to complete, but others are done in 15 minutes or so. The reason you see sketches is that cameras are not allowed in federal, and some state, courts in the U.S.

      Thank you, I’m glad you like my work,

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