WCW Home News Recent News 7-19-10 CCR Statement on U.S. Announcement that it Forcibly Repatriated aGuantánamo Detainee to Algeria
7-19-10 CCR Statement on U.S. Announcement that it Forcibly Repatriated aGuantánamo Detainee to Algeria PDF Print E-mail

From Center for Constitultional Rights

New York – Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights
(CCR) issued the following statement in response to the announcement by
the U.S. government that it forcibly repatriated a Guantánamo detainee to

“We condemn the forcible repatriation of Abdul Aziz Naji to Algeria.
Although Mr. Naji has long been cleared of any connection with terrorism,
we are deeply concerned that he will disappear into secret detention and
face the threat of persecution by terrorist groups in Algeria.  He bears
no ill will toward the Algerian government, but fears that it will be
unable to protect him from extremists in Algeria.

“Mr. Naji fled various forms of persecution in Algeria many years ago,
including having been attacked by an extremist.  His attempt to avoid
forced repatriation and remain at Guantánamo Bay, after nearly a decade of
detention without charge or trial, rather than return to Algeria
underscores the depth of his fears.  Regrettably, our government
repatriated him against his will and despite credible fears of future
persecution, in violation of the U.N. Convention Against Torture and other
international law.

“CCR supports the ongoing efforts of the U.S. State Department to close
Guantánamo Bay, particularly in the face of unyielding resistance from
Congress and the seemingly detached indifference of the White House to the
continuing plight of the men held in our notorious prison.  However, the
solution to Guantánamo Bay does not rest on forcing detainees to return to
countries where they fear torture and persecution.  It is not only
illegal, but also bad policy.  It is another unnecessary stain on our
country’s human rights record, and certain to upset our friends and allies
around the world.  Forced repatriations make the United States appear
complicit with repressive regimes and are certain to outrage Arabs and
Muslims around the world at a time when our government needs their

“Attorneys for Mr. Naji have fought tirelessly for their client over the
course of many years.  Unfortunately, their efforts to prevent the forced
repatriation of their client ended late Friday night with the Supreme
Court’s denial of an application to stay his transfer.  We admire their
selfless dedication, and our thoughts are with their client in Algeria.”

CCR has led the legal battle over Guantanamo for the last eight years –
sending the first ever habeas attorney to the base and sending the first
attorney to meet with an individual transferred from CIA “ghost detention”
to Guantanamo.  CCR has been responsible for organizing and coordinating
more than 500 pro bono lawyers across the country to represent the men at
Guantanamo, ensuring that nearly all have the option of legal
representation. In addition, CCR has been working to resettle the
approximately 30 men who remain at Guantánamo because they cannot return
to their country of origin for fear of persecution and torture.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and
protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who
represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal
and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a
positive force for social change.

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