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Court Rejects Request From Detainee

  Court Watch  -   POSTED: 2007/11/13 14:19

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to consider the case of a Guantanamo Bay detainee fighting U.S. plans to return him to Algeria. Ahmed Belbacha says his life will be in danger from terrorists and that it is likely Algerian authorities will torture him if he is sent home. The U.S. military has classified him as an enemy combatant, while saying he is eligible for transfer subject to appropriate diplomatic arrangements for another country to take him.

"Caught between domestic terror groups and a government that brutalizes suspected Islamists, Belbacha cannot safely return to Algeria," his lawyers wrote in asking the Supreme Court to take the case. "His fear is such that he would prefer to endure the oppressive environment of Guantanamo until an asylum state can be found."

Brought to Guantanamo Bay in 2002 from Pakistan, Belbacha was an accountant at the government-owned oil company Sonatrach. He says his problems began when he was recalled for a second term of military service in the Algerian army, prompting death threats against him by terrorists in Groupe Isalmique Armee, then at the height of a violent campaign for an Islamic Algeria.

Belbacha never reported for duty, but says the GIA visited his home at least twice and threatened him and his family. He left the country, traveling to France, England, Pakistan and Afghanistan before being brought to Guantanamo Bay.


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