Released but not free, Algerian is now a prisoner in his own home

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The Independent Online

Algerian-born "G" wears an electronic tag on his left leg, has restricted access to his family and is forbidden from using the internet. Since April last year, the 35-year-old accused of links with terror groups has been living under a form of house arrest.

Algerian-born "G" wears an electronic tag on his left leg, has restricted access to his family and is forbidden from using the internet. Since April last year, the 35-year-old accused of links with terror groups has been living under a form of house arrest.

When the remaining 11 foreign terror suspects are released in the next few weeks they can expect similar restrictions on their freedom of movement.

Judges ordered G's release on conditional bail in April after doctors raised serious concerns about his mental and physical health while he was inside Belmarsh prison.

He was arrested shortly after the 11 September 2001 terror attacks, under the terms of the hastily drafted Anti-terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001, but has never been informed of the full evidence against him.

He knows only that he is accused of being connected with terrorist groups that "sponsor young Muslims in the United Kingdom to go to Afghanistan to train for jihad".

Today he lives in a small one-bedroom housing association flat in London with his French wife and young daughter.

He suffers from polio and he needs crutches to walk more than a few steps. Under the terms of G's house arrest, he is denied visitors and all contact with the outside world.

But in many ways, G has been a model detainee who has demonstrated to the security services and the police that any alleged terrorist threat these men might pose can be met by locking them in their own homes.

Indeed, G's lawyers have told the Special Immigration Appeals Commission that he has been so anxious to comply with the existing bail conditions that he had refused access to a Home Office official who failed to prove her identity.

In 1991, he was arrested by the Algerian security services and tortured and in December of that year, fearing that he would again be arrested and detained, he left Algeria for Saudi Arabia. He stayed there until late 1992 but, he says, could not remain and so went to Pakistan and visited Afghanistan from time to time, it being easy to cross the border between the two countries.

It became difficult to stay in Pakistan because he was an illegal immigrant there and, with a civil war raging in Afghanistan, it was unsafe to retreat there for fear of violence.

In August 1995 he arrived in Britain, where he claimed asylum.