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Detainee’s Tunisian Transfer Blocked

Posted Oct 10, 2007 6:36 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A federal judge has barred the government from transferring a Guantanamo detainee to his home country of Tunisia, where he says he could be tortured or killed.

Judge Gladys Kessler of Washington, D.C., issued an injunction barring the transfer of Mohammed Abdul Rahman until the U.S. Supreme Court rules in another Guantanamo case, the Washington Post reports. Her decision of last week was unsealed yesterday.

The decision appears to be the first to block the repatriation of a detainee.

Kessler said the pending Supreme Court case, Boumediene v. Bush, had “cast a deep shadow of uncertainty” over previous rulings that restricted detainee rights, the New York Times reports. The case seeks to establish a right by detainees to file habeas corpus challenges to their confinement in federal courts.

Jennifer Daskal of Human Rights Watch praised Kessler's action. "Having a court step in and order the administration not to transfer a detainee to what is likely torture sets a precedent for other courts and other judges to do the same thing," she said.

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