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2658URGENT! Free Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan NOW!

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  • todd eaton
    Dec 1, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 11:42:51 -0500 (EST) From: "Jane G." <nicajg@...>
      To: Coalition for the Human Rights of Immigrants <chri@...>
      Subject: [CHRI] URGENT! Free Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan NOW!

      [Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan has been unjustly detained since July 2004.
      Please spread the word about the hearing this coming Tuesday in Los
      Angeles, and wherever you are, take a few moments to phone, fax or
      email ICE officials to ask why they are detaining Mr. Hamdan. If you
      don't have time to call or write, please at least sign the online
      petition calling for Mr. Hamdan's release:
      http://www.petitiononline.com/Hamdan/petition.html . For more info
      see the Free Hamdan website at http://freehamdan.org or email
      info@... or call 949-292-7320.]

      Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005 22:29:22 -0800
      From: "Ban Al-Wardi, Esq." <balwardi32@...>

      Please post widely.

      URGENT ACTION ALERT!!!!

      Pack the Court to Demand the Release of Brother Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan
      who has been denied justice and held in immigration custody for more
      than 16 months!

      The Hamdan Family Needs Your Strength!

      WHAT: Court Hearing for an ACLU Petition filed with the Federal Court
      to Demand the Release of Brother Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan

      WHEN: Tuesday December 6, 2005 at 10AM

      WHERE: 312 North Spring Street, 8th Floor, Courtroom C, Downtown Los
      Angeles, CA (Judge Johnson)

      BRING: Posters, Banners, Signs with Positive Words for the Hamdan Family

      If you cannot make it to the hearing, we encourage you to tell
      Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to Free Brother
      Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan NOW!

      Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan has been detained on an alleged immigration
      violation for more than 16 months, since July 27, 2004. In July the
      ACLU filed a petition seeking his release (see LA Times article
      below), but we need YOU to help step up the pressure on ICE with
      phone calls, faxes or emails.

      Mr. Hamdan is a respected community leader in Orange County,
      California, who has been living in the US for 25 years and has six
      US-born children. He has never been charged with a crime, and he is
      not a security threat. Mr. Hamdan's health continues to deteriorate
      in jail. An immigration judge ruled last February that Mr. Hamdan
      cannot be deported to Jordan because he would face torture there.

      Tell ICE: The use of immigration detention as punishment--for
      ethnicity, religion, political views or other reasons--is illegal and
      unconstitutional.

      Ask ICE: why are you keeping Mr. Hamdan in jail?

      Call, fax or email:

      John P. Torres, Acting Deputy Assistant Director, Office of Detention
      and Removal Operations (DRO), US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
      (ICE), 425 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20536; Phone: 202-514-0078 or
      202-514-8663; Fax: 202-353-9435; email John.Torres@...

      Gloria Kee, field operations director of ICE Detention and Removal
      Office in Los Angeles, 300 North Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA
      90012; phone 213-830-7900, 213-830-7913 or 213-830-7970; fax
      213-830-7973; email gloria.kee@...

      Sign an online petition to demand Mr. Hamdan's release at
      http://www.petitiononline.com/Hamdan/petition.html

      ***

      http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-hamdan15jul15,1,4486339.story

      ACLU Seeks Freedom for Muslim Accused of Ties to Terrorists

      A Buena Park man has been jailed for a year on suspicion of aiding
      Hamas. No evidence exists of security threat, civil rights petition
      says.

      By H.G. Reza
      Times Staff Writer

      July 15, 2005

      Civil rights lawyers asked a federal judge Thursday to free a Buena Park
      man who has been jailed for a year after Homeland Security officials
      accused him of having ties to terrorism.

      The American Civil Liberties Union petitioned U.S. District Court in Los
      Angeles on behalf of Abdel-Jabbar Hamdan, who was prosecuted for being
      in the United States illegally. An immigration judge this year ordered
      him deported and refused to grant him bail while he appealed, on grounds
      that he was a threat to national security.

      The 17-page petition says "there is not one shred of evidence in support
      of the government's argument that Hamdan poses a danger to national
      security." It calls his continued detention arbitrary, unlawful and
      capricious.

      Hamdan's case has been a rallying cry for critics of the Bush
      administration's practice of using allegations of terrorism as grounds
      to arrest Muslims. In many cases, the suspects are never charged with
      terrorist crimes but instead are prosecuted for immigration law
      violations.

      Hamdan, 44, worked as a fundraiser for the Texas-based Holy Land
      Foundation, an Islamic charity shut down by U.S. officials in December
      2001 after it was accused of supporting Hamas, which was designated a
      Palestinian terrorist organization in 1997. The foundation's president,
      chairman and director of endowments also were arrested July 27 and
      charged with terrorism-related crimes. They are awaiting trial but were
      released on their own recognizance after a federal judge ruled the
      government had failed to prove they were flight risks and a threat to
      national security.

      "The government cannot justify its decision to detain Hamdan while
      releasing [foundation] executives who it conceded were more
      knowledgeable about and responsible for [the group's] activities," said
      the petition written by ACLU lawyer Ranjana Natarajan. Her writ also
      said Hamdan was not involved in the distribution of funds he collected
      for the charity and that U.S. officials "never even attempted to prove
      Hamdan raised funds with the intent to further terrorist activity."

      Lori Haley, spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in
      Laguna Niguel, said an immigration court ruled that Hamdan "should have
      known that his activities constituted material support for a terrorist
      organization."

      She also defended the government's tactics in the case. "We're going to
      use every tool at our disposal to safeguard our country and prevent
      individuals from obtaining funds here to advance the aim of terrorist
      organizations," Haley said.

      Homeland Security officials said Hamdan had been living in the U.S.
      illegally on a student visa issued more than 25 years ago. Yet the
      agency working to deport Hamdan - Immigration and Customs Enforcement -
      continued issuing him annual work permits, according to the petition. At
      the time of Hamdan's arrest, agency officials were reviewing his
      application for permanent U.S. residency.

      According to the petition, on the day of his arrest Hamdan was taken to
      a government office in Santa Ana where immigration officials held a
      "spontaneous and unscheduled interview" for his permanent residency
      application and denied the request. In May, the U.S. Citizenship and
      Immigration Services overturned the denial on grounds that Hamdan had
      been improperly notified by the agency of its "intent to deny" his
      application, the petition says.

      Further complicating the case, U.S. Immigration Judge D.D. Sitgraves,
      who ordered Hamdan deported and held without bond, also blocked the
      government's attempt to return him to his native Jordan, where he was
      born in a Palestinian refugee camp. Sitgraves ruled that Hamdan might be
      persecuted or tortured if returned to Jordan, a U.S. ally in the war on
      terror.

      Immigration experts say third-party countries are reluctant to accept
      someone who has been branded as a terrorism supporter by the U.S.

      Immigration officials this year were forced to free four Iranian
      brothers from Los Angeles after keeping them locked up more than three
      years. The Mirmehdi brothers were accused of supporting a terrorist
      group and being national security threats but instead were prosecuted on
      immigration charges. They were ordered deported, but their deportations
      to Iran were blocked by immigration judges.

      They were subsequently freed when U.S. officials could not find a third
      country to accept them, though two of the men remained under deportation
      orders and the other two were appealing them.

      Hamdan, an engineering graduate of USC, is president of the Anaheim
      mosque West Coast Islamic Society and a leader in the Southern
      California Islamic community. He is the father of six U.S.-born children
      ranging in age from 8 to 21. Yaman Hamdan, who is the oldest and a
      pre-law student at Chapman University, said the entire family visited
      her father four days a week at the immigration detention facility at
      Terminal Island.

      "They squeeze us into a glass room barely bigger than a telephone booth.
      My dad sits behind a glass wall. When we leave, the whole room is fogged
      up," she said. "We feel like we're all in jail. None of us wants to
      leave the house" for fear of missing his calls.

      Entesar Hamdan, principal at a private Islamic school, said she would
      accompany her husband if he was deported but would let her children
      decide whether to go or stay.

      "I am a foreigner, but these are American-born kids. They can hardly
      speak Arabic. How are they going to fit in an Arab country? We are an
      American family who happens to be Muslim," said Hamdan, a Palestinian
      like her husband.

      She said her family was devastated by the government's accusation that
      her husband was a terrorism supporter. But the family has survived with
      help from the Islamic community and her neighbors, none of whom are
      Muslim, she said.

      "What's the easiest accusation you can make against a person in this
      country?" she asked.

      "Terrorist," answered her son, Albara, 11.

      ***

      More coverage at:

      http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20050715-0125-ca-palestiniandeportee.html

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