Stop the torture

Category: World Affairs Topics: Crime And Justice, United Arab Emirates Views: 5102
5102

Torture violates the basic dignity of the human person that all societies and religions, in their highest ideals, hold dear.

Naji Hamdan, a former California resident pictured here with his daughter Noor, has been imprisoned without charge in the United Arab Emirates since Aug. 29.

In a recent incident Naji Hamdan a US citizen who had lived in the USA for 20 years is being kept in detention by UAE authorities, since August 29, 2008. 

On December 2, Hamdan, who lived in Los Angeles, was allowed a phone call to his brother, Hossam Hemdan, also a resident of Los Angeles. Hamdan reported to his brother that he had been transferred to a regular prison on November 26. Hamdan told his brother that his captors routinely beat him and kept him in a freezing underground room during his months-long detention by state security forces. The torturers sometimes beat him in the location of his liver, knowing that he has a liver condition, and denied him his prescription liver medication throughout his detention. His torturers also beat him on the soles of his feet, deprived him of sleep by shining a bright spotlight on his face for hours at a time, and engaged in other abuses.

Hamdan says that the U.S. is responsible for his detention, and that U.S. officials participated in his interrogation and possibly his torture while in U.A.E. state security custody. Hamdan said that several of the interrogators spoke American English and did not speak fluent Arabic. He could not see these individuals because his captors always blindfolded him during torture and interrogation sessions. Hamdan also reported that his captors interrogated him about information that only U.S. federal agents had access to, such as his behavior during a prior interrogation by FBI agents at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi. They also questioned him extensively about his life in the United States.

According to Ahilan Arulanantham, director of immigrants' rights and national security for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, "These and other details provide strong evidence that U.S. officials not only sought Hamdan's arrest by a foreign government, but apparently participated in his interrogation and torture in violation of federal criminal law," Hamdan was charged and transferred to the Al Wathba prison late last month, only one week after the ACLU/SC filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Washington, D.C. seeking his release from the custody of the United States.

TAKE ACTION

  1. Sign the ACLU petition for the release of Naji Hamdan.

  2. Call the UAE Ambassador to USA, Mr. Yousef Al Otaiba at 202-243-2400 and ask him to ensure that this U.S. citizen is released and returned to the U.S. (Embassy of UAE Washington DC. Contact List)

  3. Contact your local Congressional representative and express your concern about this case. (See sample message prepared by ALCU below)
    Find Your Congressional Representative

  4. E-Mail US State Department

SAMPLE MESSAGE. Please personalize your message

Dear [Decision Maker],

I write out of deep concern for a U.S. citizen and former California resident Naji Hamdan, who is being detained and has been tortured by the United Arab Emirates at the behest of the United States.

For nearly a decade, Mr. Hamdan was monitored by the FBI. This surveillance grew more intense and deliberate in the past two years, resulting in multiple FBI agents following him in cars, numerous interrogations, and difficulty flying in and out of U.S. airports. It culminated in a meeting with two FBI agents who flew from Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi to question Mr. Hamdan in the U.S. Embassy there. A few weeks later, Mr. Hamdan was arrested by U.A.E. State Security forces. 

From the Al Wathba prison, Mr. Hamdan's description of the torture and interrogation he endured makes clear that American agents have been involved. For example, during the torture and interrogation sessions, torturers blindfolded Mr. Hamdan, so that he could not see them. However, Mr. Hamdan noted that some of the interrogators spoke native English with an American accent and were not fluent in Arabic. In addition, the agents interrogated Mr. Hamdan on topics about which only federal agents could have knowledge. His interrogators asked him why he acted nervously when he met with the FBI agents at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi. His interrogators also asked him in extreme detail about his life and activities when he lived in the United States, from the time that he arrived in the U.S. to the time he departed.

Mr. Hamdan has described severe torture. Mr. Hamdan's captors placed him in a refrigerated, underground room and deprived him of almost all clothing. They severely beat him on his back, legs, head, and the soles of his feet. They kicked him with their military boots in his liver area, even after he disclosed a liver condition. On some occasions, they beat him so badly that he passed out for extended periods of time and believed he would die. On at least one occasion, they strapped his arms and legs down to an electric chair, while threatening to use it. During the course of the torture sessions, the captors threatened his life and the life of his wife and children. 

Mr. Hamdan's situation is now urgent. If his prosecution is allowed to proceed in the U.A.E. based on evidence obtained through torture, Mr. Hamdan will receive a deeply unfair trial and unjust sentence. 

Please ensure that this U.S. citizen is released and returned to the U.S., where his rights can be protected. If Mr. Hamdan has done something wrong, then the U.S. should charge him with a crime and prosecute him in the United States, where he can be assured his due process rights. In addition, the role played by the U.S. government in causing Mr. Hamdan's detention and torture must be thoroughly investigated. Mr. Hamdan must be treated as all Americans deserve to be treated, with dignity and respect for their rights.

Sincerely,

[Name]
[Address]


  Category: World Affairs
  Topics: Crime And Justice, United Arab Emirates
Views: 5102

Related Suggestions

 
COMMENTS DISCLAIMER & RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.


In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


Older Comments:
KAUSER FROM UK said:
The issues of this kind are frustrating all over the world which includes the people who capture or who are captured. The problem is that there are no clear cut boundaries about who are punishable and who are not? Sometimes the captured person gets through all the horrific torture and only then it is found out that the person was not really involved. We can just pray that some sense prevails and people are not randomly crucified.
()

MEHJABEEN SHEIKH FROM USA said:
Thanks for bringing this action to our attention.
If this is what a Muslim does to his brother no wonder our ummat is facing such hard times.A plea to all muslims follow the five pillars Of Islam and stay away from the things that are prohibited to avoid the wrath of AllahSubhanawatala.
()

UMM ASMAA FROM SOUTH KOREA said:
I cannot sign on petition.why the page is not opening? I really want to do this small effort for this muslim family.
()

SEKOU SHERIFF FROM UNITED STATES said:
Thank you very much for sheding some light on such horrifying enagagement by the U.S, who "supposedly" is a huge proponet of human rights and justice around the world. I am definitely going to play my part by signing any necessary document. Thanks and may Allah bless all of us
()

AMINAT IBRAHIM MIKHAIL FROM NIGERIA said:
All what they were doing to Mr. Hamdan is very wrong in the sense that they torturing him while covering his face really there were us people involve, probablly he might know some of them. Let him be transfered to US where his write will be protected and there is need for thorough investigation on the torture. Ma salam.
()

ABDUL RAZAK FROM PENANG MALAYSIA said:
THE UAE SHOULD FILL SHAMFULL IN THIS INCIDENT.IF THE ARE MUSLIM? THIS IS NOT THE ACT OF MUSLIM TO HIS BROTHER!!!!!
()

SYED HAIDER FROM CANADA said:
Dear Brother,
I have read the text of Hamdan's imprisonment in UAE. It is an unfortunate situation, but it does not say, any where, what are the charges ?
You should take up "Barrack Obama" on his committment "USA does not Torture !!!".
He seems a reasonable and intelligent person. I am sure he will look at the situation favouraqbly !!!!

Regards

Syed
====================
()

ARIF FROM USA said:
Thank you for this action alert. I contacted my local congresswoman, the State Department and the UAE Embassy.

The minimum requirement of our faith is to at least raise your voice against injustice.
()

JANET PATEL FROM CANADA said:
I want to sign the petition
()

B RUBEY FROM USA said:
Thank you for posting this story. I pray that people will take action. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. I am the mother of four of Naji's nephews and they are so worried about their uncle and, honestly, about themselves. If it can happen to Naji, it can happen to anybody. Please pray for his safe release and contact the agencies in the article. anything helps. Assalamu Alaykum.
Umm Muhammad, Ibrahim, Jawdat and Hani
()