France’s high court of appeal, seemingly unsatisfied with the standards of the previous findings, in January 2008 ordered a retrial which will take place in October 2009.
Rachid RamdaWritten by CP Editor Thursday, 08 October 2009
Like many other Algerians, Rachid Ramda fled the terrors of war and torture in his home country to seek asylum in the UK.
However, he was arrested in 1995 on an extradition warrant from France, on allegations of connections with a series of bomb attacks in Paris.
Ramda was not tried or given the chance to defend himself, yet spent the first six years of his detention in the Secure Special Unit of HMP Belmarsh, which impacted heavily on his physical and mental health.
Conditions in Belmarsh were worse than difficult. Despite only possessing a few garments and inhabiting a bare cell of eight square metres, Ramda faced repeated, degrading and sexually humiliating forced nudity during his long incarceration.
Not being permitted a single visitor for more than eight years Ramda was starved of social contact, much less the opportunity to prove his innocence.
His own family in Algeria were refused a visa on 13 occasions when they attempted to visit their son.
After spending seven years in Belmarsh, the High Court in 2002 ruled against his extradition, on the grounds that the evidence provided by French authorities was unsatisfactory, and much of it had been extracted through the use of torture.
Furthermore, British judges were concerned that Ramda would be subject to inhuman treatment if he were returned – to France.
After another three years and demands for justice by the British public still not met, a British judge overturned the previous ruling and reasoned that despite previous fears of poor treatment remaining, Ramda was to be extradited to France.
Miscarriage of Justice
In March 2006, a French court found him guilty of providing logistical support to the GIA attacks on the Paris transport system.
The trial was cut short after four sessions with Ramda’s request for his lawyers not to defend him in protest at the “scandalous” proceedings.
Further legal proceedings in October 2007 sentenced him to life for his alleged role in the tragedy, even though Ramda still protests his innocence.
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Published in France
- High Court
- HMP Belmarsh
- Forced nudity
- Rachid Ramda
- Bomb attacks
- Secure Special Unit
- Sexual humiliating
- Inhuman treatment
- Logistical support
- Transport system
- High court of appeal
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