UK/Algeria: Deals must not mean returning suspects to face torture

Responding to reports that Tony Blair and Algeria’s President Bouteflika may have today reached agreements concerning the return of UK terrorist suspects to Algeria despite the risk of torture, Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“It remains unclear precisely what kind of agreement has been struck between the UK and Algeria, but we have heard little talk of human rights today.

“Whatever agreements have been signed, they cannot get round the UK’s obligations not to return people to a country where they will be at risk of torture – and Algeria is just such a place.

“People are still being held in secret and tortured by Algeria’s feared military security force, the DRS. These officials operate beyond the control of the civilian authorities, making any agreement worthless

“Tony Blair should have been urging Algeria to stamp out torture – not signing deals aimed at circumventing international law.”

A new report issued by Amnesty International this week and sent to Prime Minister Blair and President Bouteflika exposes torture and secret detention by Algeria’s feared military police, the DRS (Département du renseignement et de la sécurité). 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.

Read a copy of the report "Unrestrained powers: Torture by Algeria’s Military Security"

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