Benamar Benatta, an Algerian air force lieutenant, was jailed on Sept. 11, 2001. He has spent much of his time in solitary confinement, says the Washington Post, even though the FBI determined in November 2001 that he had no terrorism connection. Benatta now has a lawyer, and offers of housing, and a job. But he is unable to post a $25,000 bond to win freedom.
Benatta was among 1,200 men detained after the terrorist attacks. He probably has been locked up the longest of any detainee. In September, U.S. Magistrate H. Kenneth Schroeder, Jr., wrote that he “undeniably was deprived of his liberty and held in custody under harsh conditions which can be said to be oppressive.”
The federal prosecutor in Buffalo dropped charges against Benatta, 29, shortly after that ruling. Benatta now faces a deportation charge. He remains at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia, N.Y., because he cannot post the bond. A lawyer will ask a judge next week to waive Benatta’s bond.