Justice News

Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 15, 2009
United States Transfers Lakhdar Boumediene to France

Lakhdar Boumediene, an Algerian national who had been held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility since 2002, has been transferred to France.

As directed by the President’s Jan. 22, 2009, Executive Order, the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force conducted a comprehensive review of Boumediene’s case. As a result of that review, Boumediene was approved for transfer to France, which was carried out today pursuant to an arrangement between the United States and France.

Boumediene was involved in the Supreme Court case, Boumediene v. Bush, which in June 2008 established the writ of habeas corpus for detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay. In November 2008, a federal court ordered the U.S. government to take all necessary and appropriate steps to facilitate the release of Boumediene from Guantanamo Bay. He is the second Guantanamo Bay detainee to be transferred to a foreign country following consideration by the Guantanamo Review Task Force.

"As we continue to make progress with our review of detainees, the assistance of our international allies is critical to the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay," said Matthew Olsen, Executive Director of the Guantanamo Review Task Force.  "We are extremely grateful to the French Government and the European Union for their assistance on the successful transfer of Lakhdar Boumediene and we commend the leadership they have demonstrated on this important issue." 

Since 2002, approximately 540 detainees have departed Guantanamo for other countries including Albania, Algeria, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, France, Great Britain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom and Yemen.

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