Guantanamo Inmate Fights to Stay

July 31st, 2007 12:49 PM

Say what?

An inmate of Guantanamo Bay who spends 22 hours each day in an isolation cell is fighting for the right to stay in the notorious internment camp.

Ahmed Belbacha fears that he will be tortured or killed if the United States goes ahead with plans to return him to his native Algeria.


Zachary Katznelson, senior counsel with the human rights lawyers Reprieve and Mr Belbacha’s lawyer, has asked the US courts to block any transfer. “Ahmed is being held in camp six, the harshest part of Guantanamo,” he said. “His cell is all steel, there are no windows, he is not allowed to communicate with other prisoners and he gets just two hours exercise each day in a metal cage.

“He says his cell in Guantanamo is like a grave and that although it sounds crazy he would rather stay in those conditions than go back to Algeria. The fact is that he is really, really scared about what might happen to him in Algeria.”

We've heard so much about how awful Guantanamo is, and how those being held there should either be moved to another location or sent back home. However, it seems that home for Belbacha holds much more terror for him than having to stay locked up inside a prison cell with three squares a day. While his current accommodations may not exactly be luxurious, Belbacha doesn't seem to worry about being maimed and then killed by the soldiers who are his jailers.

It seems a little perspective would be in order here -- but whether or not this story gets media the attention it deserves remains to be seen.