Fears for men deported to Algeria

Statement from Amnesty International, 26 January 2007
AI statement

Amnesty International today (Friday 26 January) said it was 'deeply concerned' about the safety of two Algerian men - known as 'Q' and 'K' - deported from the UK to Algeria in recent days, after they were arrested by the Algerian security services.

The human rights organisation is particularly concerned that the two men are reportedly being held by the DRS (Département du renseignement et de la sécurité), Algeria's feared military police. The DRS is known to particularly target people believed to have information relating to terrorism. Amnesty International has extensively documented the DRS's record of torture.

Beatings, electric shocks and the forced ingestion of dirty water, urine or chemicals are just some of the methods used by Algeria's security forces with systematic impunity.

Both men were deported on national security grounds after being labelled "suspected international terrorists" by the UK authorities on the basis of secret intelligence never disclosed to them.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

'We are deeply concerned that these men are at risk of torture.

'People are still being held in secret and tortured by Algeria's feared military police, the DRS. These officials operate beyond the control of the civilian authorities.

'The DRS is known to particularly target people suspected of having information about terrorism. As these men have been labelled 'suspected international terrorists' by the UK authorities, they were always at risk of torture and should never have been returned to Algeria.'

The two men were originally arrested and detained under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (ATCSA). In March 2005, following the December 2004 judgment of the Law Lords that detention without charge under the ATCSA was discriminatory and unlawful, they were released from detention under the ATCSA and subjected to Control Orders under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005. However, in August 2005 they were re-arrested and detained at Long Lartin Prison under immigration powers pending deportation to Algeria on national security grounds. The Special Immigration Appeals Commission rejected their applications for bail. Last year, after many months in continuous detention, both men withdrew their appeal against deportation.