Moussa Zemmouri, the Belgian-Moroccan imprisoned for three years in Guantánamo, has issued proceedings against the Belgian State with the UN Committee Against Torture. “Belgium is complicit in his unlawful detention,” his lawyer, Walter Van Steenbrugge, asserts in De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad and the Gazet van Antwerpen today (Friday).
Zemmouri, who grew up in Antwerp, had been arrested in 2001 at the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He had been handed over to the United States before being imprisoned in Guantánamo.
“Belgium exchanged information about my client with the United States. This is entirely unacceptable,” the lawyer went on. He considers that the Belgian state has done too little to allow Zemmouri to leave Cuba, all the while knowing that he was being tortured there.
The UN Committee Against Torture has no power to impose any penalties upon Belgium but its judgement has a significant symbolic impact.
Lastly, the lawyer indicated, “We are taking civil proceedings against Belgium and requesting compensation of up to 50,000 euros for the country’s passive attitude.”