For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Gordon Smith or Rachel Uranga, (213) 977-5252

U.S. Citizen Tortured in U.A.E. Could Soon Face Trial; ACLU/SC Presses for Details of U.S. Involvement

WASHINGTON -
The
case of an American citizen who was tortured in the United Arab
Emirates and held at the behest of the U.S. is heading into a new
phase. On June 8, the ACLU of Southern California will ask a U.S.
District Court judge in Washington, D.C. to compel the federal
government to reveal the extent of U.S. involvement in the arrest and
detention of Naji Hamdan. Meanwhile, Hamdan is scheduled to appear June
14 in a U.A.E. court on unspecified terrorism charges. Testimony
obtained from him under torture could be used at his trial.
 
Hamdan’s case could prove to be a
test for the Obama Administration and how it handles Bush-era “proxy
detentions” – the detention of individuals by foreign governments at
the behest of U.S. officials. It also comes as the U.A.E.’s human
rights record is under heavy scrutiny.
 
Hamdan, a father and husband, lived
in the Los Angeles area for more than 20 years and built his business
and family there. He was detained in the U.A.E. on Aug. 29, 2008 and
held incommunicado for over three months. He reported being severely
tortured during that time, and said at least one American official
participated in interrogating him. In November, the ACLU/SC sued for
his release and he was subsequently turned over to criminal custody in
the U.A.E., where he could contact his family.
 
Attorneys for Hamdan will be in
Washington D.C. on Monday, June 8 arguing before Judge James Robertson.
To arrange an interview with them, contact the ACLU of Southern
California at 213.977.5252.

 

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