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ACLU in Federal Court MONDAY to Prevent Deportation of Egyptian to Torture

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 27, 2008
10:57 AM

CONTACT: ACLU
James Freedland, ACLU national, (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666; media@aclu.org
Andy Hoover, ACLU of Pennsylvania, (717) 236-6827 x13; ahoover@aclupa.org

 
ACLU in Federal Court MONDAY to Prevent Deportation of Egyptian to Torture
Group Will Argue That Secret Promises Not to Torture Are Inherently Unreliable
 
PHILADELPHIA - June 27 - The American Civil Liberties Union will be in a federal appeals court Monday challenging the government’s efforts to deport an Egyptian torture victim. The government claims to be relying on “diplomatic assurances” from Egypt that it will not torture him upon his return.

In January 2008, in the first decision of its kind, a federal district court sided with the ACLU and ordered the government to stop the deportation of Sameh Khouzam based on such secret and unreliable promises and release him under conditions of supervision. However, the Bush administration appealed this ruling, claiming that the executive branch has unfettered authority to deport Khouzam and to detain him indefinitely pending his legal proceedings.

Khouzam, a Christian who came to the United States in 1998 fleeing religious persecution in Egypt, was granted protection from deportation under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) in 2004 after a federal appeals court found that he would likely be tortured if sent back to Egypt.

WHAT:
Oral arguments Monday in the appeal of an ACLU lawsuit challenging the government’s efforts to deport Sameh Khouzam based on a reliance on “diplomatic assurances” from Egypt that he will not be tortured

WHO:
Amrit Singh and Lee Gelernt of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project will argue before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

WHEN:
Monday, June 30, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. EDT

WHERE:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
The Albert Branson Maris Courtroom
601 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1790

Many prominent lawmakers and advocacy groups of all political stripes have written letters in support of Khouzam, including Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), the Traditional Values Coalition, Concerned Women for America, American Center for Law & Justice, the Coptic Assembly of America and the Institute on Religion and Public Policy. Many of these letters as well as the ACLU’s brief and other documents related to the case are available at: www.aclupa.org/egyptiantorture

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