On August 6, 2008 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the “Inter-American Commission”, or the “IACHR”) received a petition and request for precautionary measures presented by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR); and the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) (collectively the “petitioners”) against the United States of America (the “State” or the “U.S.”). The petition was presented on behalf of Djamel Ameziane (hereinafter “Mr. Ameziane” or the “alleged victim”), an Algerian citizen who is currently detained in the U.S. Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility.
The petitioners complain that Mr. Ameziane was captured by the U.S. military in Pakistan in 2002; detained at the Kandahar Airbase in Afghanistan for more than a month; and then transferred to the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility, where he remains to date deprived of his liberty. They allege that during his detention, Mr. Ameziane has been subjected to many acts that amount to torture, cruel and degrading treatment, including the deliberate deprivation of medical attention, religious abuse, and lack of contact with his family; that the legality of his detention has not been determined by a competent court, and therefore he is still subject to arbitrary detention; and that he is at risk of being transferred back to Algeria, where he would be at risk of serious harm. Thus, Mr. Ameziane is currently seeking to have a proper judicial review of the legality of his detention and to be adequately resettled in a safe location.
The petitioners allege that, consequently, the State is responsible for violating Mr. Ameziane’s rights under Articles I, III, V, VI, XI, XVIII, XXV, and XXVI of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. They submit that Mr. Ameziane is exempt from the requisite of prior exhaustion of domestic remedies, since there is still no decision on the merits of a habeas corpus lodged on February 24, 2005; and because municipal law prevents Mr. Ameziane from pursuing any criminal, civil or administrative action for the harms he has allegedly suffered while in custody.
As of the approval of this report, the State has not submitted any written response in this matter.
As set forth in this report, the Inter-American Commission has examined the arguments of the petitioners –-in the absence of any contentions from the State-- and without prejudging the merits of the matter, concludes that the case is admissible regarding claims concerning the alleged violation of Articles I, II, III, V, VI, XI, XVIII, XXV, and XXVI of the American Declaration, as they meet the requirements provided in Articles 31 to 34 of its Rules of Procedure. Based on the foregoing, the IACHR decides to notify the parties of its decision and to continue with its analysis of the merits, publish this report and include it in its Annual Report to the General Assembly of the OAS.