GENEVA - A former Guantanamo Bay prisoner now facing terrorism charges in Algeria should have the case against him thrown out because he has no chance of a fair trial, independent rights experts said on Thursday.

Saeed Bakhouche was transferred from the US detention centre to Algeria in April 2023, under assurances that he would be humanely treated.

But he was immediately arrested in Algeria, “detained incommunicado…threatened in interrogation and denied legal representation”.

In the dock

He is due to be tried later this month, said the rights experts, who report to the Human Rights Council, receive no salary and are fully independent of any government or organization.

In a statement, the human rights experts who include Ben Saul, Special Rapporteur on countering terrorism, said that Mr. Bakhouche spent more than 20 years at the notorious US military prison in Cuba which was opened to hold suspected terrorists after the 9/11 attacks.

Mr. Bakhouche was tortured at Guantanamo and suffers post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, noted the experts, who warned that he “could not receive a fair and public trial in a national security case” in Algeria.

Among their other concerns, the rights experts highlighted the “overly broad definition of terrorism offences” in Algeria and the threat that Mr. Bakhouche would be detained in prisons “with documented risks of torture”.