Nowak and Scheinin urge US to ensure no forcible return of Guantanamo detainees

The UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture, Manfred Nowak, and on the Protection of Human Rights while Countering Terrorism, Martin Scheinin, have called on the US Government to ensure that it does not forcibly return anyone to another State where the person could be subject to torture.

While welcoming US efforts to close Guantanamo Bay detention facility, the two experts  expressed their concern for two recent decisions by the US Supreme Court, which paved the way for the transfer of two Algerian detainees held in Guantánamo.

“We are extremely worried that the lives of two Algerian detainees could be put in danger without a proper assessment of the risks they could face if returned against their will to their country of origin,” the experts stated in a news release.

One of the two men in question, Abdul Aziz Naji, has already been repatriated to Algeria, according to media reports. He was among a group of six Algerian nationals held in Guantánamo, who feared that, if returned to Algeria, they could be subject to torture or other forms of ill-treatment by the security services or non-State actors.

“Diplomatic assurances are unreliable or difficult to monitor and cannot substitute the sending country’s obligation to assess the real risk facing the individual,” said the experts, who added that this could become the first involuntary transfers of Guantánamo detainees of the Obama administration.

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2 Responses

  1. I am writing an essay related to this case, talking more generally about the effort made by the OHCHR in fighting against terrorism, and its possible achievements in doing that. However, I have the impression that this particular situation is a seriously unclear one, where political facets and an endless delay make the matters even more complex. I sought to make a prediction on how it is going to finish, but I have no clue. The only certain aspect of the whole scenario seems to be Obama’s broken promise.

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