First Guantánamo Detainee Before Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Given Hearing Today
October 29, 2010, New York and Washington D.C. – Today, Mr. Djamel Ameziane, the first individual detained at Guantánamo to file a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, was granted a hearing to determine whether his petition will be heard by the international body. Mr. Ameziane filed his petition with the Commission in August 2008 to challenge his years-long detention without charge at Guantánamo and his risk of forcible repatriation to his native Algeria, where he fears persecution and torture. While the Commission promptly issued urgent protective measures to prevent his transfer from Guantánamo to any country where he would likely face persecution or torture, Mr. Ameziane remains at risk. Mr. Ameziane’s indefinite detention and risk of transfer to torture will end only when a third country comes forward to offer him a safe haven.
“Mr. Ameziane is an ideal resettlement candidate. He is college-educated, speaks several languages including French and English, and loves to draw and paint, read mystery novels, cook and play soccer. He is healthy and hopeful, and dreams of rebuilding and enjoying a quiet life in freedom,” said J. Wells Dixon, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). “If one country in Latin America offers safe resettlement to this one man, we will be one step closer to closing Guantánamo.”
Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director for the Center for Justice and International law (CEJIL) added, “Djamel Ameziane has been detained in Guantanamo for over eight years without charges. Guantánamo has become a shameful symbol of impunity. Now is the time for the United States to seriously commit to closing Guantanamo.”
Djamel Ameziane is appealing to the international community to offer him protection and the chance to rebuild his life in safety.
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.