EURASIA LIFT

Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

USA Violated International Law – Sent Person To Country Know For Torture

Posted by Info on 30/07/2010

Last week, the United States government transferred an Algerian national, imprisoned for the last eight years at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, back to his home country.

35-year-old Abdul Aziz Naji was terrified. That’s because the Algerian government has a bad track record for its treatment of anyone arrested on “security grounds.” The U.S. State Department self reports that in such cases, Algerian authorities still use torture to elicit confessions. A recent decision from the European Court of Human Rights reached the same conclusion, blocking a transfer to Algeria from France. .

Naji begged the U.S. government to allow him to remain in prison at Guantanamo rather than be returned to Algeria. But the U.S. government ignored that; it sent him to Algeria anyway.

UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW, THE UNITED STATES ISN’T SUPPOSED TO TRANSFER ANYONE TO A COUNTRY WHERE THEY’RE LIKELY TO FACE TORTURE OR CRUEL, INHUMAN OR DEGRADING TREATMENT.

Manfred Nowak, the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur on torture, DIPLOMATIC ASSURANCES ARE UNRELIABLE AND INEFFECTIVE IN THE PROTECTION AGAINST TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT AND SUCH ASSURANCES,” and are usually sought “from States where the practice of torture is systematic.” They’re also not legally binding.

Nowak last week protested the United States’ return of Naji to Algeria.

Although Naji was never charged, tried or convicted of anything by the United States, his imprisonment for the last eight years, supposedly on security grounds, suggests he’s likely to be a target of interest to the Algerian authorities. Indeed, after he was returned home on July 18.

There are still another five Algerians left at Guantanamo Bay who are afraid to return home due to fear of mistreatment. Still other prisoners, from countries such as Tajikistan have similar fears. And terror suspects arrested by U.S. authorities and sent to another country for interrogation and prosecution, under current U.S. rendition policy, face a similar risk.

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