|MAS Freedom Calls April 29 Day of Action in Support of U.S. Citizen Naji Hamdan, Detained & Tortured in UAE|
Press Conference Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 10:00 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. (MASNET) April 28, 2009 - MAS Freedom (MASF), as the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society (MAS), together with a coalition of human and civil rights organizations, will hold a press conference in front the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) Embassy, 3522 International Court, NW Washington, DC, at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 as part of a campaign calling for the release and return of Naji Hamdan, 42, a U.S. citizen of Lebanese decent detained and tortured in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the past 8 months.
MAS Freedom Civil and Human Rights Director, Ibrahim Ramey will serve as moderator at the press conference, which will also include speakers Jennie Pasquarella and Reem Salahi of ACLU-Southern California, and more.
April 29 Day of Action events will also include an awareness visit to members of Congress on the Judiciary Committee and a visit to the State Department, and an interfaith visit to the Social Concerns Committees of major national religious offices such as the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Council of Churches, Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (CCMO), United Church of Christ Board of Directors, Clergy & Laity Concern, National Black Baptist Association, and the Shalom Center.
Naji Jawdat Hamdan was arrested at his home in the Emirate of 'Ajman on August 29, 29, 2008 by members of Amn al-Dawla (State Security). He was taken to Abu Dhabi where he was held incommunicado in solitary confinement until November 26, 2008, when he was transferred to al-Wathba prison in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. He is said to have been charged with "promoting terrorism, participating in the work of a terrorist organization and cooperating with a terrorist organization".
This is a matter of extreme urgency in that, if tried and convicted in UAE's Federal Supreme Court, the decision is irreversible.
"The use of torture to obtain a confession is reprehensible and violates international and US law. Mr. Hamdan's guilt or innocence should not be determined by information obtained through torture nor should our government be complicit in any acts of torture by a foreign nation," stated MAS Freedom Executive Director, Mahdi Bray.
Additionally, Bray continued, "We are asking for members of Congress to use oversight and for the Justice and State Departments to investigate the circumstances of Mr. Hamdan's detainment and torture while in the custody of U.A.E. officials. There also needs to be oversight and investigation as to any prior knowledge or cooperation between the U.A.E. and U.S. officials regarding Mr. Hamdan's circumstances."
The Hamdan case is gaining momentum both within the U.S. and abroad among human rights organizations and activists. There is also a growing inquiry among human rights activists as to U.A.E. human rights violations and willingness to serve as a nation state for torture outsourcing.