Mustapha Labsi’s case was one that Cageprisoners had worked on many years ago. After years of being transferred from country to country in the EU and being held without charge he has finally been extradited from Slovakia to Algeria.
Mustapha Labsi is an Algerian national who was living in London with his then-pregnant Slovakian wife; Mustapha Labsi was arrested in February 2001. He was detained in Belmarsh prison for three months for alleged links with a German terrorist cell, but these charges were dropped. However, before he could leave Belmarsh, he was re-arrested in connection with an extradition order from France. In December 2005, he was extradited to France and held in a prison that had been condemned as unfit for human habitation. He was denied contact with his family and faced abusive treatment.
Labsi was in considerable ill-health and, as result of his sufferings, developed a bleeding ulcer that caused him to lose a litre and half of blood each week. Furthermore, Labsi’s wife has suffered psychologically as a result of her husband’s detention – her difficulties were exacerbated by her pregnancy at the time.
In April 2006, he was released and travelled to Slovakia to see his family, where he applied for asylum. He was arrested and in August 2006 was transferred to Austria, where he was moved from prison to prison until he was deported back to Slovakia in May 2007.
Mustapha Labsi’s family have also greatly suffered throughout this ordeal. Unable to take care of her child due to the psychological trauma of the detention, Labsi’s wife had her daughter taken away from her. Recently she disappeared from a psychiatric hospital and it is still not known where she is.
Mustapha Labsi has been fighting extradition to Algeria, where in his absence he has been convicted and given a life sentence. In June 2009, Labsi lost his asylum appeal in Slovakia and appealed the decision against the government. Having lost that round as well he will be deported back to Algeria.