Detainee U is an Algerian national who has been held in Britain’s Secret Guantanamo without trial for over nine years. He has never been charged, questioned or tried in the UK. He faces the threat of deportation to Algeria where there are grave fears that he may be tortured or killed. He is currently held in the detainee unit at HMP Long Lartin. He has made several bail app...lications which have all been rejected since his return to prison in March 2009 after some time under virtual house arrest, akin to a control order but with more stringent conditions. U has no family in the UK.
“I had learned that Britain was a democratic country, a defender of human rights, in which the rule of law, freedom and justice are upheld. Britain for me was the land in which no man was wronged. Nelson Mandela said that, ‘the values of a nation are measured by the manner in which it treats its prisoners’. I had heard that Britain was a civilised land that treated prisoners with dignity so it must be a safe place for refugees. How wrong I was to be. I remain in prison to this day, as a political prisoner, held without charge for over nine years. I have spent over nine – nine precious years of my life, in a prison. These years will never come back.
I have been treated in prison in ways that even Algerian authorities would be ashamed to consider. In Algeria, they kill you physically [along] with verbal insults. In Britain, they kill you psychologically, with a smile. I am only seeking the same rights as [afforded to] the worst rapists, paedophiles and offenders in British prisons: and that is the right to a fair, open trial. If I have done something wrong, I should be put on trial and punished. If not, then I should be released and allowed to get on with my life. Is this too much to ask?”
His next bail hearing will be on 8th October at SIAC. We are asking individuals of conscience to attend to show our support for one of Britain’s forgotten prisoners.
Date: Friday 8th October
Case No.: SC/32/2005
SIAC (Special Immigration Appeals Commission)
15 Bream’s Buildings
Off Fetter Lane