UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
February 3, 2009
LABED AHMED, PETITIONER,
GEORGE W. BUSH, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Emmet G. Sullivan United States District Judge
On December 8, 2008, the Court directed the government to file a declaration providing the Court with information as to Petitioner Labed Ahmed's status and well-being subsequent to his transfer to Algeria. In response to that Order, on December 15, 2008 the government filed a declaration by Clint Williamson, Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, explaining that the Department of State's "general practice" is to have the U.S. embassy in the receiving country monitor the status of a transferred detainee through various means. Ambassador Williamson's declaration states that "[t]he [State] Department's overriding concern, in following this approach, is ensuring that the receiving government is in compliance with its assurances of humane treatment and that the transferred detainee is, in fact, not being subjected to mistreatment." With respect to Mr. Ahmed, however, Ambassador Williamson's declaration stated only that the Department of State "has not received any information that would suggest that he has been mistreated or that Algeria is not in compliance with its international legal obligations regarding the humane treatment of this individual."
On February 2, 2009, Petitioner's counsel filed a status report informing the Court that counsel has learned from an attorney in Algeria that all ex-detainees from Guantanamo Bay who have returned home to Algeria are being prosecuted in Algeria. That attorney also informed Petitioner's counsel that she has not located Mr. Ahmed's attorney in Algeria. Finally, Petitioner's counsel also represents that extensive efforts have been made to contact Mr. Ahmed's family, but that those efforts have not yet been successful.
Upon consideration of the counsel's status report and because the Court shares the Department of State's "overriding concern ... [in] ensuring that the receiving government is in compliance with its assurances of humane treatment and that the transferred detainee is, in fact, not being subjected to mistreatment[,]" see Declaration of Clint Williamson dated December 15, 2008, it is hereby
ORDERED that the government shall take all available and appropriate steps to locate Mr. Ahmed and ascertain his status and well-being and file a report by no later than 12:00 p.m. on February 9, 2009, detailing (1) what steps have been taken to comply with this Order and (2) Mr. Ahmed's current status and well-being.
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