Ahmed was abducted by Pakistani authorities and handed over to the CIA. He was taken to Guantánamo and held for 12 years but never charged with a crime. When he joined the peaceful hunger strike to protest his abuse, the authorities beat him and violently force-fed him. The Bush and Obama administrations both reviewed Ahmed’s case in depth and concluded that he knew nothing about terrorism and posed no threat to the US, but still refused to free him.
Reprieve’s Guantánamo team represented Ahmed during his detention, and he was finally released from Guantánamo in February 2014. He was returned to his family in Algeria and is now rebuilding his life with the help of Reprieve’s Life After Guantánamo team.
“Ahmed’s last 12 years show how dangerous it is for us all if the time-tested procedures of open justice are disregarded. The US government was happy to arrest and detain Ahmed for over a decade, without ever giving him a chance to answer their unfounded accusations.”
Polly Rossdale from the Guantánamo team at Reprieve
Ahmed lived in Algeria and was working as an accountant, but fled when the threat from violent paramilitary forces became too great.
After the September 11th attacks he was rounded up with other innocent Arabs by Pakistani authorities and handed over to the CIA. He was violently interrogated, physically abused and held in incommunicado detention by US forces. He was taken to Guantánamo Bay where he was held for 12 years without charge. His beloved grandmother died while he was detained, and he didn’t get to say goodbye.
The US finally released him to Algeria in February 2014.
The criminal court in Algiers today dropped all charges against Reprieve’s client, Ahmad Belbacha, citing “lack of evidence” as the reason for its decision.
Legal charity Reprieve today welcomes the news that its client, Ahmed Belbacha has returned to Algeria after more than a decade of detention without charge in Guantánamo Bay.
Guantanamo authorities block detainee from watching film depicting his daily ordeal
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New animation depicts life inside Guantanamo