Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Moroccan-Born British Resident May be Released

Ahmed Errachidi, a 41-year-old British resident, has been a imprisoned without charge since his capture by bounty hunters in late 2001. (Sound familiar?)

Errachidi has spent three of the last five years in solitary confinement (a psychologically devastating period of isolation). He has been denied due process for years; been beaten and periodically pepper-sprayed ... and now an Administrative Review Board has determined that he is not a threat and should be released.

Unfortunately, because Errachidi is not a British citizen, the U.K. has recused itself of any obligation to bring him home. Emily Thornberry, Mr. Errachidi's local Labour Party MP has this to say:

Guantanamo Bay is an affront to international law. While Ahmed Errachidi has been in Guantanamo he has been subject to appalling abuse and has suffered at least one severe mental breakdown. He should never have been in Guantanamo Bay and he certainly shouldn't be there for a moment longer.

It's completely unacceptable that Ahmed should be left in limbo like this, while the international community wrings its hands about the detainees the US no longer wants.

Surely he has more than sufficient compassionate grounds to be allowed to come back to Britain. Ahmed must be released immediately and I have written to George Bush to tell him so.

- Adrian Bleifuss Prados