US transfers Guantanamo detainee to Algeria a year after habeas order

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] announced [press release] Thursday that Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Farhi Saeed Bin Mohammed was transfered to his native Algeria pursuant to a court order [judgment, PDF] from November 2009. The DOD said it had successfully transferred Farhi after the inter-agency Guantanamo Review Task Force [executive summary, PDF] approved the transfer following a comprehensive review considering, especially, the security issues. The DOD worked closely with the government of Algeria to transfer Farhi safely and securely. Farhi's lawyers had fought the transfer [WP report] back to Algeria out of fear that he would be tortured and mistreated. It is unclear whether Farhi is currently in jail in Algeria.

Last January, the US Supreme Court declined to review the decision [JURIST reports] of the lower court permitting the government to transfer Farhi to Algeria. The decision left in place a ruling of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia [official website], in which the government asserted that Fahri's return to Algeria was permissible because there was not credible evidence that he would face torture upon his arrival. In that ruling, Judge Gladys Kessler had directed the government to "take all necessary and appropriate steps to facilitate [Fahri's] release forthwith." The order resulted from a civil action brought against the US government for unlawfully detaining him since 2002.

 

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