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Bosnia: UN Official Says Six Algerians Extradited Illegally

Sarajevo, 22 January 2002 (RFE/RL) -- A senior UN official in Bosnia says the Bosnian Interior Ministry acted illegally when it delivered six Algerian terrorist suspects to the custody of U.S. officials. Madeleine Rees, the head of the Sarajevo office of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, said today that the human rights of the six men may have been violated. She called for action against those responsible for the transfer.

Bosnian authories on 18 January turned over the six men to U.S. officials. They are being transferred to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where they will be held with terrorism suspects captured in Afghanistan.

The handover came a day after Bosnia's highest court ruled that authorities lacked enough evidence to justify their detention or extradition.

The Chamber of Human Rights -- a top human rights body in Bosnia -- also had opposed the extradition of the suspects.