France is planning to host an Algerian detainee of Guantanamo
April 3, 2009   By:    Algeria, Guantanamo, Lakhdar Boumedienne, Release, Saber Lahmar   Comments are off   //   466 Views

France is studying how to host an Algerian detainee of the detention center of Guantanamo, the U.S. president Barack Obama wants to close by the end of January 2010, according to sources.

    Two Algerian detainees have been bleached by the U.S. justice system and are released since late November. Lakhdar Boumediene, 42 years on hunger strike for over two years – and force-fed according to Amnesty International – and Saber Lahmar, 39 years.

    “France is examining the possibility of a former Algerian detainee at Guantanamo, because there are historical ties between France and Algeria,” said an American official.

    A source close to ongoing discussions between the State Department and France wished to remain anonymous confirmed to the press that negotiations are currently taking place about an Algerian.

    The President Obama and the French president Nicolas Sarkozy are to meet for bilateral talks Friday on the sidelines of a NATO summit and after a G20 meeting in London.


    Neither sources could say how soon this inmate would be transferred to France but will be transferred before the United States have taken prisoners, said the U.S. official, in direct reference to 17 Chinese Uighurs locked up for seven years at Guantanamo although bleached for four years for most of them.

    A federal judge had authorized their release in October in Washington, where the most significant Uighur community in the United States, but an appeals court overturned his decision, leaving the executive to decide the fate of these prisoners. The Uighurs, Turkic-speaking Muslim minority are persecuted by Beijing and Washington has not committed to their return to China.

    Lakhdar Boumediene and Saber Lahmar are part of a group of six Algerians living in Bosnia who were arrested in October 2001, questioned and exonerated by Bosnian police, before they delivered them to the Americans. They are among the first detainees arrived at Guantanamo in January 2002.

    The Bush administration suspected them of masterminding an attack against the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo. Charges dropped quickly but the men are not released so far.

    Mr. Boumediene is one of the most famous prisoners in the United States, because the decision in June 2008 by the Supreme Court to grant Guantanamo detainees the right to appeal to the federal courts to challenge their detention bears his name.

    With Mr. Lahmar and three of their companions in misfortune, they are the first that a federal judge bleached on November 20, declaring their detention illegal and urging the administration to release them. The other three, who have Bosnian citizenship, joined Bosnia in late December.


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