Tunisian authorities have broken a pledge not to mistreat two former detainees at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay who were sent home nearly three months ago, Human Rights Watch said.
In a statement, the group cited lawyers for Abdullah bin Omar and Lotfi Lagha as saying the two men were held in solitary confinement and mistreated — despite assurances by the Tunisian government to the United States that the two would not be harmed.
The Tunisian government denied the allegations, saying in a statement: "The rights of prison inmates are protected by law and no forms of cruel or inhumane treatment are tolerated."
Tunisia is regularly criticized for human rights abuses, including torture, by national and international organizations. Ten Tunisians remain in Guantanamo.
The U.S.-based group urged Washington to give Guantanamo detainees facing transfers to their home countries a chance to contest the move before a federal court if they fear mistreatment or torture.
Returned to Tunisia on June 18, bin Omar and Lagha were immediately taken into custody. Both had been held without charges at the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay for about five years, the statement said.
Bin Omar, convicted in absentia in Tunisia in 1995 on charges that he belonged to a "foreign group", is now awaiting a retrial. The statement did not provide details about bin Omar's arrest.
Last Mod: 07 Eylül 2007, 15:03