For nearly 12 years, Djamel Ameziane, an Algerian citizen, was arbitrarily detained without charge at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp. During his detention, Mr. Ameziane was tortured and suffered from other forms of abuse. In 2009, the U.S. approved his release from Guantánamo, yet he remained imprisoned for another five years. In December 2013, Mr. Ameziane was forcibly repatriated to Algeria despite having fled from violence and persecution for belonging to a minority ethnicity.
More than 15 years after Mr. Ameziane was captured and brought to Guantánamo, his case will be presented at a merits hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. During the hearing, his lawyers from the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) will: I. Highlight the serious human rights violations committed against Mr. Ameziane during his detention at Guantánamo Bay; II. Indicate what reparations the United States is obligated to provide, in light of the human rights violations in question, including guarantees for non-repetition for all other Guantánamo detainees; and III. Petition the Commission to issue a merits report to establish the responsibility of the United States with regards to the case and recommend reparations.
Photo: Debi Cornwall
If the IACHR rules in favor of Mr. Ameziane, it would be the first case regarding human rights violations committed at the Guantánamo Bay prison that a regional human rights body issues a decision on. Moreover, the decision will mark a historic victory for him and Guantánamo Bay detainees and their right to judicial reparations. Additionally, the IACHR’s decision will be a decisive condemnation against one of the most reprehensible vestiges left from the “War on Terror.” Finally, at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump has stated his intention to not only keep the detention center open, but to fill it up, the September 7 hearing will be an opportunity for CCR and CEJIL to urge the Commission to remain vigilant on the issue of Guantánamo and U.S. accountability, and encourage OAS member states to remain engaged and accept detainees for resettlement where needed.
This is a reprint of a press release by CEJIL and the Center for Constitutional Rights on the matter of Djamel Ameziane. World Without Torture and the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims wholeheartedly support the efforts described to establish accountability for the violations described therein. To see the webcast of the hearing go to livestream at cidh.org on Thursday September 7, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Mexico City time). At a later stage, you can search for the video in the IACHR archives under the reference “Case 12.865 – Djamel Ameziane”. For further information contact Alex McAnarney firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 (305) 335-5665.