September 26, 2008, New York, NY – This week, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) granted a hearing to the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) to review the U.S. government’s compliance with urgent precautionary measures issued by the Commission last month for Djamel Ameziane, an Algerian citizen detained by the United States at Guantánamo Bay. The hearing, scheduled for October 28, follows a petition filed with the IACHR on Mr. Ameziane’s behalf last month – the first ever petition brought by a Guantánamo detainee to the international body.
Mr. Ameziane has suffered various forms of torture and abuse during his more than six years of near-incommunicado detention at Guantánamo, including brutal physical beatings, extended solitary confinement, and a form of water torture. He is also one of approximately 50 Guantánamo detainees who cannot return to their home countries for fear of persecution or torture and need third countries to offer them protection in order to leave Guantanamo safely. Mr. Ameziane is currently seeking resettlement in Canada, where he resided for five years prior to his detention.
“This hearing is an all too rare opportunity for detainees’ claims to be heard before a fair tribunal in a public forum,” said CCR attorney Pardiss Kebriaei. “After six and a half years, Mr. Ameziane and the vast majority of Guantánamo detainees are still waiting for that day in the courts of the United States.”
The precautionary measures for Mr. Ameziane were ordered in response to a petition filed on his behalf by CCR and CEJIL on August 6. The measures call for the United States to take urgent steps to prevent further irreparable physical and mental harm to Mr. Ameziane while he remains imprisoned at the base, including: (1) to ensure that he is not subjected to further torture or inhumane treatment; (2) to provide him with prompt and adequate medical care for his various ailments; and (3) to ensure that he is not transferred to a country where he would be at risk of being tortured.
At the hearing, the Commission will also address the United States’ compliance with broader precautionary measures it first mandated in 2002 and has reiterated several times for all Guantánamo detainees.
For more information on CCR’s work with Mr. Ameziane and documents relating to his IACHR case, see the Ameziane v. Obama and Ameziane v. United States case page.
The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization with consultative status before the Organization of American States (OAS), the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECO) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights – visit CEJIL's website.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.