An Algerian man who was held in Guantanamo Bay for 12 years was released to his home country Thursday, March 13 having never been charged with a crime. Aljazeera reports:
The Pentagon said on Thursday that Ahmed Belbacha, 44, was turned over to the Algerian government. The transfer brings the total prisoner population at the US base in Cuba to 154. Lawyers for Belbacha, from the British human rights group Reprieve, said it expected he would be released by the Algerian government and allowed to return to his family.
Belbacha was released by a panel designated to re-evaluate the cases of 40 inmates at the US military prison. The board reviewed a Yemeni prisoner named Abdel al-Rahabi on March 12, but denied his release.
Reprieve, a British human rights group that provided legal counsel for Belbacha, argued that he had been subject to violent interrogation, according to Aljazeera. The Pentagon had suspected the Algerian national of receiving weapons training in Afghanistan.