Iraqi man seeks release after long immigration detainment

Attorneys for 34-year-old Farass Adnan Ali are challenging what they call his “unreasonable, prolonged” pre-deportation detention. (Courtesy: Facebook page)
Updated 11 September 2018
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Iraqi man seeks release after long immigration detainment

  • Attorneys for 34-year-old Farass Adnan Ali are challenging what they call his “unreasonable, prolonged” pre-deportation detention
  • Ali, of Rochester, has been held since his arrest in May 2017, after he allegedly lied to the FBI about his social media activity

MINNEAPOLIS: An Iraqi man who is accused of hiding his past as a member of an elite Iraqi military force is asking a federal judge in Minnesota to release him after 16 months in immigration custody.
Attorneys for 34-year-old Farass Adnan Ali are challenging what they call his “unreasonable, prolonged” pre-deportation detention, which has included seven months of solitary confinement. But the Star Tribune reports that court documents show Ali’s immigration case also intersects with an FBI counterterrorism investigation.
Ali, of Rochester, has been held since his arrest in May 2017, after he allegedly lied to the FBI about his social media activity, which included use of Facebook and an app called Viber. An FBI agent wrote in court documents that Ali’s Viber contacts included a Fallujah native who is allegedly linked to an insurgent cell behind attacks on Iraqi and coalition forces. Ali’s Facebook account includes an image of Daesh militants entering a Libyan city in 2015.
Ali hasn’t been publicly charged. His attorneys say the government hasn’t publicly invoked any national security statutes that would justify his prolonged detention.
Ali came to the US in 2014 as a refugee from Turkey. He became a lawful permanent resident in July 2015.
The FBI, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the US attorney’s office declined to comment to the Star Tribune about Ali’s case.
A federal immigration judge has refused to release Ali on bond, finding that he failed to show that he didn’t pose a danger. Ali’s attorneys say that unless a US District Court judge intervenes, he could be held at least another year.
“This is somebody who’s never committed a crime in America, he entered as a refugee, he’s got a green card and the United States is holding him for no really good reason,” said Ian Bratlie, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in Minnesota. “It’s kind of absurd and it’s harmful to people’s rights.”
According to court records, ICE officials allege that when completing immigration forms, Ali concealed his service in the Saddam Hussein regime’s elite Republican Guard and said that he had never been arrested in Iraq. But when he was seeking refugee status, he later claimed he’d once been arrested by Iraqi authorities who suspected his involvement in an explosion targeting police.
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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com


New social deal signed in Morocco, salaries to rise

Updated 26 April 2019
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New social deal signed in Morocco, salaries to rise

  • The minimum wage, currently 2,570 dirhams a month ($266), will be increased by 10 percent over two years from July
  • Last July King Mohammed VI urged the government to take “urgent action” to address social issues

RABAT: The Moroccan government on Thursday announced a “new social deal” with employers and the main labor unions, under which many workers will enjoy a pay rise.
The deal agreed by the General Confederation of Moroccan Businesses (CGEM) and the three main unions — the UMT, UGTM and UNMT — is the fruit of months of negotiations
The minimum wage, currently 2,570 dirhams a month ($266), will be increased by 10 percent over two years from July, except for the agricultural sector.
Government-paid family allowances will also rise.
Meanwhile public sector workers will be given a 300-500 dirham monthly pay increase over three years.
Of Morocco’s main trade unions only the Democratic Labour Confederation has not signed the social deal which, according to the government statement, is aimed at “improving spending power and the social climate.”
Last July King Mohammed VI urged the government to take “urgent action” to address social issues, in particular health and education in the north African country which has been hit by protests over employment and corruption.
Mohammed VI pointed to social support and social protection programs that “overlap each other, suffer from a lack of consistency and fail to effectively target eligible groups.”
After months of stalemate, the dossier was handed to the interior ministry at the beginning of the year and the final rounds of talks were held.
The social unrest began in October 2016 after the death of a fisherman and spiralled into a wave of protests demanding more development in the neglected Rif region and railing against corruption and unemployment.
Morocco is marked by glaring social and territorial inequalities, against a backdrop of high unemployment among young people. In 2018, it was ranked 123rd out of 189 countries and territories on the Human Development Index.