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Algeria court indicts ex-Guantanamo detainee

The Algerian prosecutor's office said Monday that former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Aziz Abdul Naji [NYT profile] had been indicted, but did not specify the charges. The charges come after a period of detention by the Algerian government under a statute that allows for the detention of terror suspects for up to 12 days. Naji was released Sunday after a judge placed him under judicial supervision [Reuters report], requiring him to appear at the local police station every week. Naji, who was held at Guantanamo since his capture in 2002, was repatriated to Algeria earlier this month after the US Supreme Court [official website] failed to stay the transfer [JURIST report]. Naji had appealed to the court asking that it review his pending transfer and that he be allowed to remain at the Guantanamo facility. In his appeal, Naji expressed concern that he would be tortured or killed [Washington Post report] if returned to Algeria. The Obama administration had indicated it had received assurances from the Algerian government that Naji would not be mistreated after returning to the country, citing the Algerians who have been returned to the country from Guantanamo Bay without incident as proof that Naji would be safe in the country.

In February, an Algerian criminal court acquitted [JURIST report] former Guantanamo detainee Mustafa Hemlili of charges of counterfeiting and affiliation to a militant group that is active abroad. Hemlili was released from Guantanamo, along with fellow inmate Hederbash Sufian, after a six-year detention period. July's transfers brought the total number of Guantanamo detainees transferred to Algeria to over 20. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced in January that two detainees had been transferred to Algeria [JURIST report]. Hassan Zumiri had spent more than seven years in the Guantanamo detention center, while Adil Hadi al-Jazairi bin Hamlili [NYT profiles] had been held for five. Both men are Algerian nationals.

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