Monday, August 07, 2006

France has deported a Tunisian man to his homeland despite protests that he could face torture there

BBC News:

Adel Tebourski, 42, was put on an Air France flight back to Tunisia on Monday, officials said.

Tebourski had served a jail sentence in France after being convicted of helping the killers of Afghan resistance leader Ahmed Shah Masood in 2001.

The French authorities described Tebourski as a serious threat to national security.

French campaigners have said he could be tortured in Tunisia, and the UN torture committee last month called on Paris to suspend his deportation, the French news agency AFP reports.

A court in Paris handed Tebourski a six-year jail term in 2005 for offering logistical support to the killers of Masood.

During the trial, Tebourski admitted he was a member of an Islamist cell linked to one of the Tunisian killers.

Three other men were sentenced to between two and seven years by the Paris court.

Masood, a leading general in Afghanistan's anti-Taleban Northern Alliance, was blown up in 2001 by two Tunisian men posing as journalists.

The death of the man revered as the "Lion of the Panjshir Valley" stunned the country's then rebel forces, who were soon called to fight alongside US troops in a campaign against the Taleban in late 2001.

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