Maybe this is why it’s taking so long to close down Gitmo. The detainees kind of think it’s better than the alternative.
The Obama administration would quickly send home six Algerians held at the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but for one problem: The men don’t want to go. Given the choice between repatriation and incarceration, the men choose Gitmo, according to their lawyers.
Wait, it gets better. They’re afraid that if they’re sent back to their home countries they’ll be tortured. I guess Gitmo isn’t so bad after all.
The State Department’s report on human rights practices in Algeria in 2009 noted that “local human rights lawyers maintained that torture continued to occur in detention facilities, most often against those arrested on ‘security grounds.’ ”
Administration officials point out that despite this history, the United States, under the Bush and Obama administrations, has already sent 10 Algerian detainees home from Guantanamo Bay, and that none has been persecuted.
The official noted that the administration has refused to repatriate detainees to countries such as China, Libya, Syria, Tunisia and Uzbekistan, where U.S. officials believe there is a risk of torture or where returned detainees have been mistreated.
The administration has been preparing to repatriate one of the six Algerians. But lawyers for Aziz Abdul Naji, 35, who has been held at Guantanamo for more than eight years, said he is “adamantly opposed to going back.”
Eric Holder blames the fact that Guantanamo Bay remains open for business on politics. But really, whose politics are keeping these guys here?