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2498FRENCHMAN SUES US OVER DETENTION

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  • World View
    Jun 29, 2004
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      FRENCHMAN SUES US OVER DETENTION
      Agence France Press, 6/10/04
      http://www.theadvertiser.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,9799927%
      255E1702,00.html

      A FRENCHMAN of Pakistani origin who was detained in New York for five
      months without charge after the September 11, 2001 attacks is suing
      US authorities, a French newspaper reported today.

      Asif Safi, a 40-year-old from France's Indian Ocean island of
      Reunion, said a visa problem led to him being arrested as a suspected
      terrorist on September 30, 2001 while returning from a trip to
      Canada, the Quotidien de la Reunion newspaper said.

      He claims to suffer emotional and psychological trauma from the
      episode, which saw him locked up with other suspects of Arab or
      Muslim background in a Brooklyn jail, where he said he suffered
      physical and verbal abuse according to the lawsuit prepared by a US
      group, the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR).

      The document claimed FBI agents stomped on Safi's feet, twisted his
      thumbs, beat him and threw him so violently against a wall he lost
      consciousness, the newspaper said.

      When Safi was finally allowed to return home to his French wife and
      three children, the federal agents escorting him to the airport
      reportedly told him: "We're sorry, we know you didn't do anything.
      You were just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

      The CCR is helping Safi and several of the other detainees sue US
      Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI boss Robert Mueller, the
      newspaper said.

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