2 Algerians go missing after transfer from Guantanamo, rights group says

Two Algerians released from the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay have not been heard from since they were transferred two weeks ago to the custody of the North African country, a human rights group said Monday. Human Rights Watch said several Algerian detainees at Guantanamo have expressed fear of torture and called on the US to help ensure the two men - the first Algerians transferred to their home country from Guantanamo - are treated humanely. "What happens to these men is significant in figuring out what to do with the others," said Jennifer Daskal, senior counterterrorism counsel for the New York-based group, who noted that roughly two dozen Algerians are still held at this US base in southeast Cuba. The Pentagon announced July 2 that Abdul Raham Houari and Mustafa Ahmed Hamlily had been transferred to Algeria, but the rights group says that country apparently has not confirmed the men's whereabouts. Their families and attorneys have not heard from them, the group said. Algeria's security forces have been accused of torturing terrorism suspects, the US State Department has noted in reports on human rights practices, citing international and local rights groups. Attorney Zachary Katznelson, of the British human rights group Reprieve, said he represents four Algerians at Guantanamo who have been cleared for release but worry they will risk mistreatment if returned home.