FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lawsuit Claims U.S. Muslim Tortured at Behest of FBI, State
D.C., 5/31/13) -- The Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest
Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, announced
today that it has joined with Oregon attorney Thomas H.
Nelson in filing a lawsuit yesterday on behalf of a Muslim
former resident of that state who claims he was tortured in
the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the behest of the FBI and
American Muslim Sues FBI, Saying He was Tortured at Their
Former Portland Businessman Accuses Feds of Complicity in
Named in Yonas Fikre's suit are Attorney General Eric
Holder, Secretary of State John Kerry, FBI Director Robert
Mueller, and two Portland-based FBI agents. The lawsuit,
filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Oregon, seeks $30
million in damages and injunctions against similar
mistreatment of American citizens.
Last year, CAIR called on the U.S. Department of Justice
(DOJ) Civil Rights Division to investigate Fikre's claims
that he was beaten on the soles of his feet, kicked and
punched, and held in stress positions while interrogators
shouted questions similar to those posed to him by FBI
agents and other American officials.
CAIR Interview with Yonas Fikre
Fikre said he rejected an FBI demand that he act as an
informant. He is currently seeking asylum in Sweden because
he fears what U.S. officials may do to him if he returns.
American Muslim Alleges FBI Had a Hand in His Torture
"Our nation's leaders must be held accountable if they use
foreign proxies to violate the constitutional rights of
American citizens," said CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas,
who is co-counsel in the lawsuit.
CAIR has previously called on the DOJ to investigate acts of
"coercion and intimidation" allegedly used by the FBI's
Portland Field Office to pressure Muslim citizens into
giving up their constitutional rights if they wished to
return to the United States from overseas. Fikre is
originally from Portland.
CAIR Says Portland FBI is Coercing Muslims to Give Up Rights
In 2011, CAIR filed a lawsuit against the DOJ and the FBI
seeking a court order to allow a Virginia Muslim teenager
who had been detained in Kuwait and placed on a U.S.
government no-fly list to return to the United States.
Earlier this week, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
rejected government efforts to dismiss that case.
Va. Muslim on No-Fly List Returning to U.S.
CAIR has assisted a number of other American Muslim citizens
who have been stranded overseas by government actions.
Embassy Returns Passport to U.S. Muslim Stuck in Kuwait
FBI Prevents Va. Muslim from Returning to U.S.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and
advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the
understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil
liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions
that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR Staff Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 202-742-6410,
firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director
Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,
Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787,