Human rights court sides with terror suspect in deportation dispute

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Italy would violate its obligations under the European Convention of Human rights if it deports Nassim Saadi, a Tunisian terror suspect from Italy, citing the very real risk of torture if he were to return to his home country. Human rights group Amnesty International applauded the ruling, as a landmark ruling on the absolute prohibition of torture, inhuman, and otherwise degrading treatment. Italian authorities sought to deport Saadi to Tunisia under the Pisanu Law which was urgently adopted to combat terrorism. Italian authorities argued that Saadi posed a security risk to the country. In 2005, Nassim was among five Tunisians acquitted by Italian courts of charges of helping to plan terrorist attacks and recruiting militants; however, he was found guilty of forgery and criminal conspiracy, and sentenced to 4.5 years in jail. Italy has unsuccessfully tried to report Saadi since 2006. In reference to reports by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, which both describe the indignity of Tunisian jails, the court said Saadi would face ill-treatment if he were to be sent back. Concerning the prospect that Saadi might pose a threat to the community, the court stated that this did not diminish in any way the risk that he might suffer harm if deported.