Former Guantanamo detainee plans to sue Canada for $50 million

Ex-Guantanamo detainee Djamel Ameziane

An Algerian man has declared his intention to sue the Canadian government for the abuses he claims he suffered at the hands of American security forces in Guantanamo Bay.

Djamel Ameziane, who was never charged or prosecuted, accused the Canadian government of complicity in the abuse of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Djamel Ameziane said: “My current situation is really bad, I am struggling to survive.

“I was repatriated from Guantanamo and left like almost homeless. I couldn’t find a job because of the Guantanamo stigma and my age, so a settlement would be very helpful to me to get my life back together.”

In a draft statement of claim obtained by The Canadian Press, Mr Ameziane seeks damages of $50 million on the grounds that Canadian security services co-operated with their U.S. counterparts even though they knew the Americans were abusing him.

“The Crown’s conduct constituted acquiescence and tacit consent to the torture inflicted upon the plaintiff,” the lawsuit alleges.

Mr Ameziane’s Edmonton-based lawyer, Nate Whitling, said the government’s recent out-of-court settlement — worth a reported $10.5 million — over violation of his rights has prevented scrutiny of Canada’s alleged complicity in abuses at Guantanamo Bay.

Mr Whitling said: “A judicial inquiry is needed. Only then can the Canadian public come to understand the extent to which Canada is responsible for the torture of innocent detainees in the aftermath of 9/11.”

The lawyer, who said he planned to file the lawsuit in Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton on Monday, said Mr Ameziane would be prepared to put the claim on hold in exchange for an inquiry.

Mr Whitling also said two other people planned similar suits that name the federal government, RCMP and Canadian Security and Intelligence Service.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale had no comment given the pending legal proceedings.

The U.S. detained Mr Ameziane at Guantanamo Bay for more than 11 years until his release in December 2013.

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