Thursday, June 14, 2007

587 Days

587 days and counting. Boys and girls, here is reason 587 days for wishing the Bush Administration to be consigned to the dust-bin of history.

The Bush administration sanctions and routinely supports countries that have active torture programs. The Bush administration lies about supporting torture. (I know this is two reasons, but what the hell)
The link on the title bar describes the story of one Sameh Khouzam, an Egyptian national who lives in Lancaster Pennsylvania. Mr. Khousam, as the story describes was siezed by authories in New York when he went to check in with immigration officials as he has done many times in the past. This time however, he was put in jail and told he would be deported to Egypt where he was allegedly wanted for murder. The deportation would occur in 72 hours.

Mr. Khousam was saved from deportation by a federal judge who after listening to arguments from the ACLU granted a stay. However he still faces deportation as early as June 18th. Why is he in this country? Is he here to blow up a building? Is he here to foment radical islamic ideas? No. Mr. Khousam is a Christian, and fled to the United States from Egypt after persecution for his beliefs.

As reported in the story from Amrit Singh on the Huffing Post:

In 1998, Mr. Khouzam escaped to the United States, seeking asylum from religious persecution in Egypt, where he says he was repeatedly tortured by Egyptian officials because he is a Christian. He has been beaten, sodomized with a rubber hose, and stabbed with a screwdriver-like instrument. In 2000, the Board of Immigration Appeals credited a Pennsylvania physician's conclusion that Mr. Khouzam's multiple medical scars were consistent with his account of torture.

Mr. Khouzam's family members have also been the subject of systematic assault and persecution by Egyptian officials -- his wife and mother were abducted and detained on separate occasions, his wife was repeatedly raped for three days, and his brother was forced to denounce his Christian faith.

Instead of being granted asylum, Mr. Khouzam was jailed by the U.S. government based on a claim by Egypt that he was wanted for murder -- despite the absence of credible evidence such as an autopsy report. He remained locked up in prison for eight years. Six years into his detention, an appeals court found that he could not be deported to Egypt because he was likely to be tortured there. Despite that finding, Mr. Khouzam remained in detention for another two years until a federal district court ordered that he had to be released because his removal to Egypt was not reasonably foreseeable.

Torture in Egypt is a well-known fact. The U.S. State Department has documented numerous accounts of torture and abuse of prisoners by Egyptian security forces and other government entities. The State Department has also documented widespread persecution and discrimination against Christians and other religious minorities in Egypt.

We know the United States government under the Bush Administration has sanctioned "extraordinary rendition" of enemy combatants to places where torture is an excepted practice. Several of the Republican Candidates for President seemingly sanction this (except John McCain, who after experiencing the treatment first-hand wisely says torture is immoral) method of combatting the "evil-doers". George Bush has repeatedly said that the United States does not torture and does not sanction torture.

Mr. President, Your pants are officially on fire...

See you tomorrow kiddies.


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