Washington, DC, Thursday, December 5, 2013.- Today the United States Government announced that it has transferred Djamel Ameziane from Guantánamo to Algeria despite his well-founded fear of persecution or torture in his home country, in direct contravention of precautionary measures ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).
“Since 2008, the Inter-American Commission has ordered the State not to send him to Algeria, where he risks torture or persecution,” said Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). “The United States Government’s forcible transfer of Djamel Ameziane to Algeria is a blatant breach of international law, for which the State must be held accountable.”
CEJIL and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), brought Djamel Ameziane’s case to the IACHR in 2008. In 2008, the IACHR issued precautionary measures – still in force – prohibiting the United States from sending Mr. Ameziane to Algeria. In 2012, Djamel’s petition was declared admissible by the IACHR, making it the leading international case on the Guantánamo detention center.
Djamel Ameziane is a college graduate fluent in multiple languages, who fled Algeria in the early 1990s to escape the civil war. Fearing persecution based on his minority, Berber ethnicity, he sought refuge outside Algeria, living legally in Vienna, Austria and Montreal, Canada. When he was ultimately denied permanent refuge, and fearing torture or persecution in Algeria, he fled to Afghanistan in 2001. After the U.S. invasion, he fled toward Pakistan but was captured and sold by Pakistanis to U.S. forces, who sent him to Guantánamo in February 2002. Despite the fact that no charges were made against him, and that the United States military admitted in 2008 that his detention no longer served any purpose, he was arbitrarily detained in Guantánamo for nearly 12 years without charge or trial.
“This forcible transfer only compounds the years of suffering and injustice that Djamel Ameziane has already faced in Guantánamo,” said Viviana Krsticevic.
- Djamel Ameziane profile
- IACHR Precautionary Measures (259/13) – Detainees in the US Military Base in Guantanamo - EXTENSION
- Precautionary Measure 259/02 – Detainees being held by the United States at Guantánamo Bay
- UN and IACHR Joint Public Statement – on the “need to end the indefinite detention of individuals at Guantánamo Naval Base in light of current human rights crisis”
- Resolution 2/11 – Regarding the Situation of the Detainees at Guantánamo Bay, United States, Precautionary Measures 259-02
- IACHR Public Hearing – Human Rights Situation of Persons Detained in the Naval Base of Guantánamo, United States, March 12, 2013, 147th Period of Sessions