Britain deports two Algerian detainees
Giles Tremlett, The Guardian, June 19, 2006
Britain deported a second former Belmarsh detainee to Algeria over the weekend, despite protests that both men faced arrest and torture on their return home.
The deportation, which followed the expulsion of a first terror suspect on Friday, came after both men had in effect agreed to return home by dropping their legal appeals.
Four Algerians held for up to four years without charge or trial as terrorist suspects wrote to the Guardian in April saying they would rather go home than endure the « cruelty » inflicted on them by Britain. « We know that we face torture in our country of origin but some of us have come to the decision that a quick death is preferable to the slow death we feel we are enduring here, » they said.
The deportations come days after Britain and Algeria agreed the text of a bilateral extradition treaty which is expected to come into effect shortly. The text has not been released, but a Foreign Office spokeswoman said last night that it contained human rights guarantees.
The Algerians, known only as Mr V and Mr I, are thought to be the first of a wave of terror suspects due to be sent back to Algeria.
« A number of others are appealing against deportation and their cases are currently before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, » a Home Office spokeswoman said yesterday.