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


Qatari tribe continues campaign for justice at UN in Geneva

Updated 5 min 40 sec ago
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Qatari tribe continues campaign for justice at UN in Geneva

  • Al-Ghufran traibe present their case in front of the international community to hold Qatar accountable
  • The tribe revealed the crimes against humanity committed by Qatari authorities

GENEVA: Members of a tribe persecuted for more than 20 years by authorities in Qatar appealed for help on Friday from the special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
It was the latest stage in a campaign for justice by the Al-Ghufran tribe, whose members have been stripped of their nationality and suffered torture, forced displacement and deportation.
A delegation from the tribe has taken their case to the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. They said they sought international assistance only after years of being ignored by the government of Qatar, and when they realized that the Qatari Human Rights Council was in league with the regime in Doha to deny them their rights as Qatari citizens.
A member of the tribe, Gaber Saleh Al-Ghufrani, also appealed to the people of Qatar for help. “We call on the elders of the honorable Al-Thani family and to the generous and righteous people of Qatar and to the Al Murrah tribe, known for their nobility and chivalry,” he said.
“We call on you as your brothers, young and old, elders and children, men and women, inside and outside Qatar, and we appeal to your proud Arab origin because the Qatari government has let us down, made untrue claims about us and stripped us of our rights.
“We have been subjected to much injustice and humiliation in our homeland from those who, unfortunately, we thought to be virtuous. We have been discriminated against in the most painful of ways; they have stripped us of our dignity.
“We chose to go to the United Nations and to the international human rights organizations only after the government of our own country closed all ways of appeal, and did not engage or listen to our demands.”
The tribe’s ordeal began in 1996, when some of their members voiced support for Sheikh Khalifa Al-Thani, the Qatari emir deposed the previous year by his son Hamad, father of the current emir, Sheikh Tamim.
About 800 Al-Ghufran families, more than 6,000 people, were stripped of their citizenship and had their property confiscated. Many remain stateless, both in Qatar and in neighboring Gulf countries.
“They have taken away our social, political and economic rights,” said
Jabir bin Saleh Al-Ghufrani, a tribal elder, at a press conference on Thursday. “The Al-Ghufran tribe has been subjected to unjust treatment.
“I left on a vacation in 1996, and now I can never go back to my country. I can go to any place on this earth, but not my home, not Qatar.”
Members of the delegation produced passports, certificates and other documents to show that their right to Qatari citizenship was being denied.
“I ask for my rights. Our people have been asking for our rights for a very long time now and no one has even explained to us why this is happening to us,” said Hamad Khaled Al-Araq.
Another member of the tribe, Hamad Khaled Al-Marri, said on Friday:
“Our issue with the Qatar regime is purely humanitarian and not political, this is why we came here to present our case and our demands to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Our demands are clear: The Qatar regime should be held accountable for the crimes that it has committed against us and other Qataris, and the restoration of our rights.”