The attorney for Belkacem Bensayah and Djamel Ameziane, two Algerian detainees being held in Guantánamo Bay said on Nov. 29 the two will oppose their release back to Algeria, which could take place as early as this week. The two claim they would likely face persecution should they be released back to their home country. The US is bound by its international obligations under the UN Convention Against Torture, as well as other international conventions, to prevent returning a national to a state where he or she will likely face persecution or torture. Bensayah has requested he be released to Bosnia, while Ameziane has asked to be released to Canada.
Some human rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, have alleged that it is a violation of the Convention to release the individuals into a particular situation without their consent. Officials for the Obama administration note that several other prisoners have been released to Algeria in the past and that they generally continue to monitor credible concerns surrounding released prisoners’ safety. Of the 164 detainees currently being held in Guantánamo, 84 have currently been cleared for release.
From Jurist, Nov. 30. Used with permission.