French Guantanamo detainees in goodphysical condition: lawyer

30th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 30 (AFP) - The lawyer for two of the four French detainees repatriated from the US base at Guantanamo Bay said Friday that they are in good physical condition but that he has concerns for their long-term psychological state.

PARIS, July 30 (AFP) - The lawyer for two of the four French detainees repatriated from the US base at Guantanamo Bay said Friday that they are in good physical condition but that he has concerns for their long-term psychological state.

Jacques Debray spoke after seeing Mourad Benchellali and Nizar Sassi at the headquarters of the domestic intelligence agency, the Directorate for Territorial Surveillance (DST), where they are undergoing questioning.

"From the look of them they are okay physically. They are both hoping to regain their liberty and see their families. But already it is a huge step for them that they are no longer at Guantanamo Bay," he said.

"They have not complained of any pain, but the question really is what are the psychological repercussions of the treatment they endured in their years of detention," he said.

According to Debray, both his clients used the words: "We've escaped from hell."

Benchellali, Sassi and the two other detainees Imad Kanouni and Brahim Yadel were to be presented Saturday before anti-terrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere, who has been in charge of the investigation into their pasts since November 2002.

He has the power to place them under investigation on terrorist charges and request their continued detention.

The four were sent home on Tuesday following lengthy negotiations between Paris and Washington. Three other French detainees remain among the estimated 600 inmates at the US detention facility.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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