Friday, June 08, 2007

Rights groups oppose deportation of Coptic Christian

The Story (link)


LANCASTER, Pennsylvania -- U.S. human rights activists are opposing the proposed deportation of a Coptic Christian, alleging the man could face torture or death in his native Egypt.

While 38-year-old Sameh Khouzam initially was allowed to stay in the United States due to such fears, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office now has decided to deport him for an Egyptian homicide charge, The New York Times said Wednesday.

But while the Egyptian government has ensured the safety of the resident of Lancaster, Pa., activists are dubious regarding Khouzam's actual future in Egypt.

Those activists pointed to Khouzam's repeated allegations that he was tortured in Egypt previously and the case drew the interest of the American Civil Liberties Union.

ACLU officials are asking for a stay of Khouzam's deportation and ultimately want him released for custody. They argue deporting Khozam to Egypt for the homicide charge would be tantamount to violating the United Nations' Convention Against Torture, the Times said.

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