MIAMI (AP) -- An Algerian held for 12 years without charge at Guantanamo Bay has been sent back to his homeland.
The Pentagon says in a brief statement that the 44-year-old Ahmed Bel Bacha was turned over to the Algerian government. The transfer was announced Thursday and brings the total prisoner population at the U.S. base in Cuba to 154.
Lawyers for Bel Bacha from the British human rights group Reprieve say they expect he will be released by the Algerian government and allowed to return to his family. Reprieve says he was subjected to violent interrogation, physical abuse and held incommunicado by U.S. authorities.
President Barack Obama came into office vowing to close Guantanamo but was thwarted by Congress. Obama pledged a renewed effort to close the prison last year.